New Manchester United signing Memphis Depay says Louis van Gaal's personal intervention saw him turn down a move to Paris Saint-Germain and make an eleventh hour U-turn to move to Old Trafford.
Depay became United's first new signing ahead of next season after agreeing to leave PSV Eindhoven for a reported £22m, a deal that Van Gaal claimed he had to make with the player set to join Ligue 1 champions PSG.
The 21-year-old played under Van Gaal for the Netherlands national team at the World Cup and says a conversation with the United boss persuaded him to move to the Premier League rather than join the French club.
"The transfer to PSG was really close," Depay said. "I always knew United were interested, but it was nothing concrete. Then, at the last moment, they called and I spoke with their coach.
"It was a difficult situation but, after I spoke to Louis van Gaal, I said, 'I am going to go to Manchester'.
"I'm really proud and I believe I can be a big player at Old Trafford. I will give everything I have. I said to myself when I was 12, 'I want to play there'. It's a dream come true."
Playing in his final PSV home match prior to his move to United, Depay marked the appearance with a 30-yard free-kick as the Eredivsie league winners' fans paid tribute to the player who joined the club as a youngster in 2011.
Depay will arrive at United with a reputation as a free-kick specialist and having already been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, and the player is keen to enhance that reputation in English football.
"I hope I can one day be like the big guys in the world. I believe in myself and, if I have the chance to take the free-kick, then I will put it in the net," he added.
"Ronaldo is someone I watch, I watch all the big players. I look up to them and I can learn from them.
"I am down to earth and I hope I can reach that level. I'll fight for it and I will do my best in every training session to get better."