Towards the latter stages of the summer transfer window, Southampton came forward for PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo.

The Saints and a few other clubs showed keen interest in the forward, but no deal took shape.

Gakpo’s stay has paid off for the Eredivisie side sporting wise as the forward has scored 13 goals and made 17 assists this season. However, the decision to not sell him had an impact on PSV’s finances and cost John de Jong his job at the club.

De Jong was the technical director of the club from May 2018 until September. The 23-year-old’s sale would have improved PSV’s finances, especially after they failed to qualify for the Champions League group stages this season.

Southampton came forward with an offer for the Netherlands international. Earlier reports had suggested the latter decided to sack the director for his failure to sell Gakpo in the summer. De Jong has now detailed what happened after Southampton tabled a bid.

“Southampton wanted to pay €32m for Cody, with a number of bonuses that were difficult to achieve. We had a good substantive discussion with each other, and everyone had their say,” he told Eindhovens Dagblad and Voetbal International, relayed by Voetbal Zone,

“We had to go for the sporting ambition of the club. I thought and believed PSV have a very good selection with which we have a good chance of winning the title. With Cody there, that chance is a lot bigger.

“In the end, the management thought the same as I did. But Ton van Veen, the financial man in the supervisory board, insisted on a sale. He wanted the financial security of a plus in the current financial year. In my view, he did not want to be held responsible for any red figures. Robert van der Wallen was a bit in-between.

“We were all happy that we had stayed together as a management team and that we had the same point of view. And we would solve the financial situation together by selling in January or otherwise before June 30, 2023. So, we parted ways that night.

“Then he [Marcel Brands] also said for the first time that the supervisory board had doubts about my performance for some time. But Marcel also told me that he had asked the supervisory board whether they would also have lost confidence in me if Cody Gakpo had been sold. Then they would have not done, he was told by the supervisory board. So, if I had sold Gakpo, I would still have been at PSV.”

De Jong’s latest comments would suggest Southampton and Leeds United, another club who tabled a bid for Gakpo, came very close to securing a deal.