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Cody Gakpo endured a choppy start to the season after talks with Man United, PSV boss claims

Manchester United’s transfer talks with PSV this summer made preparations for the new season “difficult” for Cody Gakpo, according to football director Marcel Brands.

Reports surfaced earlier this summer that the Eindhoven board were keen to sell the £43million-rated Dutch star to suitors Arsenal, Leeds or Manchester United, while former PSV technical director John de Jong departed.

But Brands has since insisted Gakpo would have stayed at Philips Stadium even if the “right amount” had been offered, and pressed the 23-year-old did not want to leave.

As a result of the transfer negotiations, Brands believes Gakpo has suffered from a lack of preparation for the new season.

“Cody had a difficult pre-season with us because he spoke to Manchester United,” he told ED.

“They didn’t come until mid-August and didn’t go through. In fact, I don’t think Cody would have left at the end of the transfer window if the right amount had been bid.

“There was no offer that came close to the lower limit of what we agreed with Cody.”

Despite the alleged lack of preparation, Gakpo had a successful start to the Eredivisie season, scoring seven goals in his first six games.

The striker scored a brace against FC Emmen in the opening weekend and followed that up with a hat-trick in PSV’s 7-1 win over FC Volendam three weeks later.

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