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Did Man Utd miss out on Gakpo? Ten Hag pressed on Liverpool's surprise transfer swoop for PSV star

10:47 GMT+3 28/12/2022
20221218_Gakpo
Erik ten Hag was pressed on Liverpool's swoop for long-term Manchester United target Cody Gakpo after his side's 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
  • United linked to Gakpo since the summer
  • Liverpool have since swooped for Dutchman
  • Ten Hag stressed financial aspect of transfer

WHAT HAPPENED? It was first reported that United were eyeing a January move for the Dutch forward, but Liverpool now appear close to finalising a deal for a fee in the region of £44m ($53m). Ten Hag was quick to quell fears that his side had missed out, though, with the United head coach claiming that any players such as Gakpo - who is the Eredivisie's top scorer with nine goals in 14 matches - must match the club's financial strategy, as well as sporting.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We are always in the market. But what you say, it has to match the sporting criteria but also the financial criteria," Ten Hag told reporters after United's home win over Forest. “We’ll do what we can to bring that player in who we need. I don’t talk about individual cases. We are looking for offensive players. We are looking for a striker.

"It would be good [to get one in] because with the games coming, so many after each other, every three days, it’s tough and we want to play in all the competitions which we’re now in. We want to stay in those leagues. So, hopefully we can keep going until the end of the season. You need numbers in the squad to cover them all.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite Ten Hag's emphasis on more offensive reinforcements, his side were back fully firing on their return to Premier League action. Goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred sealed a 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest, taking United to within one point of Tottenham in fourth with a game in hand.

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WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? While Gakpo might have slipped through the cracks, the opening of the January transfer window in a few days' time will allow Ten Hag to explore alternative options, with Benfica's Enzo Fernandez dominating the latest rumours.