Memphis Depay, the highly rated PSV Eindhoven attacker, held secret talks with Liverpool this week after flying in on a private jet, according to reports on Saturday.
The Mirror‘s David Maddock claims “The Dutch superstar made the trip on Thursday when he jetted to Manchester airport with his advisors Kees Ploegsma and Kees Vos from top agency SEG International.”
Maddock reveals that they met with Liverpool officials, including chief executive Ian Ayre.
“Sources in Eindhoven have revealed the 21 year old was hugely impressed not only by Liverpool’s determination in pursuing him for more than a year, but also in the vision they presented.”
The reliable Paul Joyce also reports similarly, as does The Times‘ Tony Barrett. Joyce claims “Liverpool have jumped to the head of the queue for Holland star Memphis Depay after holding talks with the Dutch club.”
Depay, who scored twice at the World Cup last summer, would reportedly be available for around £20 million.
Depay is fresh from playing a key role in PSV winning their first title since 2008. He scored 20 goals in 27 appearances in Eredivisie this season.
While Depay is linked with Liverpool, he’s also being strongly linked with Man United. Earlier this week the Daily Mail claimed Depay had held talks with United officials.
United, of course, are managed by Louis Van Gaal – who was Netherlands coach at the World Cup last summer. Such reports will leave Liverpool fans fearing United being able to offer higher wages and Champions League football next season will see Depay head to Old Trafford.
Dutch newspaper ED also claims Depay held talks with Liverpool, not Man United, saying: “Depay this week was not in England for an interview with Manchester United, says PSV.
“He gathered with his management about Liverpool.”
Asked about Liverpool’s interest in Depay, former Liverpool hero and Dutch team mate Dirk Kuyt urged the player to move to Merseyside:
“I look through red glasses, because I’ve played six years for Liverpool. Only when Memphis does that, he will realise how big Liverpool are,” Kuyt told De Telegraaf.
“Of course it would be an advantage at Manchester United because he knows the manager.
“On the other hand it is important at his age that he plays every week. That’s the only way he can develop.”
Update: A tweet seemingly from one of Depay’s agents, taken at United’s training ground on Friday means it’s quite probable the player held talks with both clubs.