Ronald Koeman has revealed Southampton were interested in signing Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven last summer. He continued with the Dutch club and helped them win the league title in the 2014/15 season.
The 21-year-old's impressive form helped him seal a move to Manchester United in the summer. The Saints manager revealed the player's camp informed Depay was not ready to leave PSV in the summer of 2014, which forced Koeman to give up hopes of signing his compatriot for Southampton.
"It is true, we were interested in Memphis Depay last year but we heard from his management that he wanted to stay one more year in Holland (at PSV) and then take the opportunity to play for a foreign club," Koeman is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
Depay revealed he was struggling with the physical demands of the Premier League. A disappointing display in Red Devils' 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, the attacker was warned by Ryan Giggs for his lifestyle in England.
United manager Louis van Gaal has also urged the Dutch international to step up his performance in order to avoid the same fate as Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao. The South American duo left Old Trafford after a disappointing first season with the Premier League giants. Koeman has advised Depay to improve "a lot" in order to cover the difficult moments at United.
"I think Memphis Depay, now at the moment, has a difficult time but that's normal because he is 21 and of course maybe the step to Manchester United in all aspects is a difficult one and he needs more time," the Southampton manager explained.
"If one day he will be on the market, I'm interested yes but I don't think so because I believe in that player. It is a difficult time but (he is) still young. He has to improve a lot and he will go through all these difficult moments."