Reports have suggested that Brentford came close to signing Liverpool-linked PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko on deadline day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Bees were allegedly ‘closing in’ on the 20-year-old on deadline day after making a bid in the region of £34m. He would have been a major coup for Thomas Frank’s side, too, as he is considered to be one of the most promising young attackers in Europe.
Bakayoko impressed for Jong PSV in the 2021/22 campaign, when he scored 17 goals and made 12 assists in 32 league appearances.
The youngster then broke into the PSV first team last season and has since made 41 appearances in all competitions, netting seven goals and making seven assists.
Bakayoko has started this season on fire, too, making five assists in eight outings so far. With that in mind, it’s no surprise Brentford were keen to sign him.
Liverpool have also been linked with a move for him this summer, so there is certainly no shortage of interest in his signature.
It has now been revealed, however, that Bakayoko had serious doubts about joining Brentford and wanted to stay at PSV, in order to play in the Champions League this season with PSV.
In a recent interview, the player explained why he snubbed Brentford in order to continue at the Eredivisie side.
“Even if they had offered €100m… I want to stay at PSV. We want to become champions of the Netherlands and get as far as possible in the Champions League, that was always my focus.”
PSV secured a place in the Champions League group stage after defeating Rangers in the play-offs last week, which evidently played a key role for the player in his decision to reject Brentford.
Bakayoko’s decision has frustrated former PSV star Ibrahim Afellay, who thinks the Dutch giants should have forced the winger to leave after Brentford’s offer.
“As management, you could have said to Bakayoko: we are going to get Lozano, your chances of playing time are diminishing.
“Especially when you get an offer like that, €40m. Then you actually have to take him away yourself,” Afellay told Studio Voetbal, as cited by Voetbal Primeur.
As mentioned by Afellay, PSV have just re-signed Hirving Lozano from Napoli, which could see Bakayoko’s playing time diminish. With that in mind, the winger will hope he doesn’t live to regret snubbing Brentford this summer.