Memphis Depay has revealed that he held discussions with Bayern Munich and several other top European clubs this summer, but it was Louis van Gaal that eventually convinced him to opt for a future at Manchester United.
The versatile 21 year old enjoyed a great 2014/15 season with PSV Eindhoven, spearheading a domestic charge under former Netherlands stalwart Phillip Cocu that culminated in their first Eredivisie title in seven years, leaving rivals Ajax trailing in their wake.
Depay weighed in with a healthy total of 25 goals in all competitions during such a successful campaign. Those exploits convinced Van Gaal, who handed the player his international debut in October 2013 and took him to the 2014 World Cup, to pay £25m ($39m) and hand over a four-year contract at Old Trafford, with the option of an additional 12 months.
Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain were all previously believed to be eager to rival United for his signature according to quotes from PSV sporting director Marcel Brands featured by ESPN in April, although Bayern's interest appears to have flown somewhat under the radar by comparison.
"There were discussions with nearly all the top clubs," Depay told SportBild as translated by the London Evening Standard. "And of course FC Bayern was one of them. But in the end Manchester United came out on top.
"I only spoke to Louis van Gaal and he totally convinced me. He gave me the feeling that I was very important for him not only as a player but also as a person. And then it was clear that I would go to Manchester United."
Having ensured that Bayern missed out on a potential deal for Depay, United rubbed further salt into the wounds on Monday (13 July) by announcing that they had completed the signing of midfield stalwart and influential World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Thomas Muller once again became the subject of Premier League transfer speculation in May after reminiscing about his special relationship with former boss Van Gaal, while The Telegraph claimed earlier this week that Robert Lewandowski was back on the radar as a potential replacement for Radamel Falcao and Fenerbahce-bound Robin van Persie.
Links between United and Lewandowski date back to the latter's time at Borussia Dortmund and agent Cezary Kucharski recently confirmed that it would take a substantial sum to tempt Bayern and Pep Guardiola into selling.
He told Polish television: "I think it would have to be a very high offer, definitely higher than €50m. Robert is one of the most valued strikers on the market, he guarantees goals, guarantees assists, excitement. He has shown that over many years during his career.
"Every year he is an even better player and plays at a higher level and that is very important for other clubs because he has credibility and guarantees at least 30 goals a season.
"With a player of Robert's class, the truth is that not a lot of work is required because really there are only two directions in which he could go in the future, England or Spain, and only with Bayern Munich's acceptance."