Gakpo ‘refused my advice’ to snub ‘dream club’ Man Utd despite Liverpool being ‘ten times smaller’

Jason Soutar
Cody Gakpo hugs Ruud van Nistelrooy

PSV Eindhoven boss Ruud van Nistelrooy has revealed he advised Liverpool new boy Cody Gakpo to join the player’s “dream” club Manchester United.

Gakpo was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford and a January transfer seemed inevitable before Liverpool swooped in.

The Reds paid around £40million to sign the Netherlands forward from PSV, but the player has struggled to hit the ground running in England.

After scoring nine goals and providing 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie matches this season, Gakpo has failed to register a single goal contribution in six starts across all competitions for Liverpool.

The 23-year-old has only been at Liverpool for a month but the early signs are not too promising.

He joined a team struggling for form and Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Wolves was another horrendous result for the Reds.

They are currently tenth in the Premier League and face a tough battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Gakpo may well be regretting making the move to Anfield, with his former manager and Manchester United legend Van Nistelrooy revealing that the 23-year-old’s “dream move” was to the Red Devils.

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Van Nistelrooy also said that he wanted Gakpo to join United because “they are better than Liverpool”.

“Gakpo’s dream move was Manchester United, he was in contact with [Erik] Ten Hag since last August,” the PSV manager reportedly said (as cited by Sportskeeda).

“I also wanted him to join United – not just because it’s my club and I love them, but also because they are better than Liverpool and offer a lot more potential to their players.”

Van Nistelrooy then revealed that Gakpo ignored his advice after being tempted by Liverpool defender and his Netherlands teammate, Virgil van Dijk.

He continued: “But United did not make a bid in January, so I advised him to wait ’til the summer.

“Something happened and he refused my advice and listened to Virgil who tempted him to join his team. He told me he wanted to move abroad in January.”

Perhaps trying to further endear himself to the United fan base, Van Nistelrooy added that Liverpool are “ten times smaller… in every department”. Blimey.

He also believes Gakpo would be scoring goals for the Red Devils thanks to their “great midfielders”.

“The fact is Liverpool is ten times smaller than Manchester United, in every department,” the former striker said.

“I feel lucky that I played for the two biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“Gakpo would have been scoring goals for United already, they have great midfielders who create many chances like [Bruno] Fernandes, Casemiro, and even [Christian] Eriksen.”

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has also been discussing Gakpo’s start to life in the Premier League.

The former Everton manager believes it would be a different story for the 23-year-old if he was five years older given Liverpool’s struggles on the pitch.

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