Memphis Depay PSV Zeca Panathinaikos
Memphis Depay wants to play in the Champions League next seasonReuters

Manchester United will need Champions League football to ensure the signing of Memphis Depay next summer.

Depay was quite impressive for the Netherlands at the World Cup last summer, playing a decent enough role in their run to the semifinals and an eventual third-place finish under Louis Van Gaal.

With Van Gaal taking over at Manchester United at the end of the World Cup, links were obviously made with Depay; however, the winger stayed put at PSV Eindhoven, despite interest from several clubs around Europe.

Van Gaal himself has said previously that he believes the Depay needs a little more time in the Eredivisie before he makes his switch to a bigger league in Europe, leading to suggestions Manchester United will make their move at the end of this season.

That bigger league is expected to be the English Premier League, with Tottenham also showing a keen interest. But as far as the winger, who sees Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol, is concerned, the primary objective will be Champions League football, the key selling point for most big players nowadays.

Depay, also seemed to rule out a January move away from Eindhoven, suggesting a transfer to the Premier League and Manchester United or Tottenham looks likely only next summer.

"Maybe I'll play next season in the Champions League with PSV, or I might go to another great club," he told Voetbal International.

"I do not plan. I just want to take steps in my career."

Van Gaal does not really need an attacking player at the moment, with his forward-thinking players performing pretty well of late, even if they failed to score a single goal against Spurs on Sunday.

Manchester United are expected to strengthen their defence and deep midfield in the January transfer window, and keeping the option of signing Depay, who believes he still has a few improvements to make, for the summer might be the better idea.

"I find myself not even the best in the Netherlands," added Depay. "[Georginio] Wijnaldum [another player who has been linked to Manchester United] I find to be the best."

Also read