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Cody Gakpo #18 of Liverpool during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match Liverpool vs Wolverhampton

7 transfer targets Man Utd missed out on in 2022 – & how they fared last season

Manchester United spent around £200million on transfers last summer, but they didn’t manage to get all of their transfer targets through the door.

Erik ten Hag looked to put his stamp on the squad as he signed the likes of Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia last summer.

We’ve gone back through the seven transfer targets that United missed out on that summer and have assessed how they fared last season.

Marko Arnautovic

Sky Sports revealed that United had a £7.6million bid rejected for the forward last August, before the club ultimately decided to pull the plug on the deal because of behind-the-scenes concerns.

The 34-year-old would have been viewed as a panic buy, but he did enjoy another solid campaign in Serie A this year. The Austrian forward scored 10 league goals and helped Bologna to a ninth-placed finish, their highest finish in over a decade.

Adrien Rabiot

The French midfielder has been linked with a move to Old Trafford again this summer and the rumours were just as rife last year. Rabiot even spent a portion of pre-season training with the Juventus under-23s as his future remained up in the air.

In the end, no such deal went through and Rabiot had an excellent individual campaign. He impressed during the World Cup for France and featured in 48 matches for Juventus across all competitions, scoring 11 goals.

Cody Gakpo

Prior to Liverpool getting their hands on the Dutch forward, Ten Hag wanted to bring the PSV man to Old Trafford. Gakpo himself did admit in February that there were conversations about him joining United.

“To be honest, I spoke to him [Van Nistelrooy] a lot about United in the summer when the transfer looked like it may be coming,” Gakpo said via Manchester Evening News. “But in the winter, not really. It was Ruud’s wish that I went to a big club – and I think I have achieved that with Liverpool.”

Jurgen Klopp’s side snatched him up in January and haven’t looked back since. The 24-year-old scored seven league goals in the second half of the season, including a brace against United at Anfield.

Sasa Kalajdzic

In August last year, Sky Sports linked Kalajdzic with a move to Old Trafford. The towering Austrian forward scored 24 goals in 60 appearances for VfB Stuttgart between 2019-2022.

Despite their interest, they never lodged an official bid and the forward instead signed for Wolves. In his Premier League debut against Southampton, he suffered an ACL injury and subsequently missed the entire 2022-23 campaign.

Frenkie de Jong

The speculation surrounding the Barcelona midfielder was rife throughout the entire summer transfer window and the rumours are still bubbling away in the background today.

Despite Ten Hag pushing for the deal, De Jong was fixated on remaining in Barcelona. It probably worked out for the best in the end as the Dutch midfielder played a key role in Barcelona’s La Liga winning campaign.

Xavi told reporters in February that De Jong made it clear to him that he wanted to stay: “I think he was really clear to me – he wanted to stay with us, so there was not a doubt.”

Sergino Dest

De Jong’s Barcelona teammate Dest was also a player of interest for United. Transfer expert Ekrem Konur claimed that United were in discussions for the defender and Sport even reported a swap deal involving Aaron Wan-Bissaka was in the works.

The United States international instead joined AC Milan on loan for the season, but didn’t have much success in Italy. Davide Calabria was the preferred choice at right-back and Dest only ended up starting in two league matches.

As Wan-Bissaka looked a player reborn in the second half of the season, United fans will be pleased the potential swap deal didn’t got through in the end.

Joao Felix

United held an interest in the Portuguese forward last summer, although they did rubbish reports that claimed they had placed a bid of £110million for the Atletico Madrid star.

After an underwhelming start to the season in Spain, Felix spent the second half of the campaign on loan with Chelsea. Since making his £113million move to Atletico Madrid in 2019, he hasn’t quite the hit the heights that were originally expected.


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