The season isn't even over yet and Liverpool have already lost out on one of their main summer targets to a league rival who appear set to beat them in the final table. The club’s interest in PSV’s 21-year-old star attacker Memphis Depay was widely reported by journalists with ties to both PSV and Liverpool. And now, the player’s decision to spur Anfield in favour of a move to Manchester United is official.
It’s hardly a surprise, as many had speculated that Liverpool’s only chance to land Depay would be if United got caught up chasing Gareth Bale and strung Depay along as Plan B. With reports of manager Louis van Gaal travelling to Holland to speak to the player this week and United undertaking to negotiate a fee with PSV, any chance of such a situation transpiring disappeared. If United wanted Depay, they were always going to get him.
It’s a move that won’t become official until the summer, but United have already announced the completion of Depay’s signing, for a rumoured £25M transfer fee, and Depay has told his PSV teammates about his intention to join his former national team manager at Old Trafford. It is a significant blow to Liverpool’s summer transfer plans, made all that much worse by who they’re losing Depay to and how quickly it happened.
The only upside is that by losing out on him so early, the club at least cannot claim they did not have sufficient time to find their own Plan B, and if rumours are to be believed, that could be Bayer Leverkusen attacker Son Heung-Min, who would fill a role similar to Depay and whose agent recently confirmed Liverpool were interested in.