SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 20 (Sporting Alert) – Southampton manager Ronald Koeman revealed that he tried to sign Memphis Depay, but admits the Saints had “no chance” once Manchester United came calling.
Depay is on the verge of completing his move to Old Trafford from Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven on a £25 million deal, after he agreed terms and passed a medical with the English Premier League giants.
However, Koeman said things could have been different as he wanted to sign the youngster last summer, but he was dead-set on staying with PSV for another campaign.
The Southampton boss was apparently planning to make another approach to bring his fellow Dutchman to St Mary’s this summer, but the Daily Star reports he gave up once Manchester United were also linked with the 23-year-old.
“I wanted to get him last year,” Koeman told Dutch paperVoetball International.
“We tried that but the boy wanted to stay another year at PSV. Now we knew that we did not have to call.
“When Manchester United come, we have no chance.”
Depay finished the Eredivisie as the top goalscorer after netting 22 league goals in guiding his team to the domestic title and a place in the Champions League group stages.
It is understood that French champions Paris Saint-Germain were very close to landing Depay, who only decided to join Manchester United, after his World Cup manager Louis van Gaal pick up the phone and gave him a call.
“Memphis Depay is a young player who has come through the PSV Eindhoven academy system,” added Koeman.
“I worked with Memphis during last summer’s World Cup with the Netherlands and he has great potential.
“The plan is to help him develop as a player, but we must all be patient.
“The Premier League is very different from any other league and it will take time for him to fully adapt to the pace and unforgiving nature of football in this country.”
Liverpool were also said to be interested in the talented attacker, but the player, it is thought, had no interest in moving to Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers remains firm that the Reds didn’t show interest in signing the winger, but PSV and Depay himself, have been telling a different story.
Depay wants to be a big-hit at Manchester United, but some of the club’s legend, including former captain Gary Neville, hopes the fans will be patient in his development stages.