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Man Utd transfer target Orkun Kokcu refused to wear rainbow armband earlier this season

Chris Byfield

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Man Utd transfer target Orkun Kokcu refused to wear rainbow armband earlier this season

Manchester United scouts travelled to the Netherlands to watch Feyenoord's Orkun Kokcu this weekend, it has been claimed.

A host of Premier League clubs reportedly had scouts at the De Klassieker, Dutch football’s most high-profile derby, to watch Feyenoord pair Kokcu and Santiago Gimenez.

Indeed, the Mirror claim that representatives from United, Tottenham, Brighton, Leicester, West Ham and Brentford were all in Rotterdam for a KNVB Cup semi-final with Ajax.

Benfica are already thought to be lining up a £31million bid for Kokcu, a 22-year-old midfielder who has been central to Feyenoord's push for their first Eredivisie title in six years.

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Kokcu, who captains Feyenoord, represents Turkey at international level despite having been born in Holland.

Meanwhile, Gimenez, a 21-year-old Mexican international who was born in Argentina, has scored 23 goals in all competitions this season.

Indeed, United boss Erik ten Hag will know both players well from his years at the Ajax helm.

Representatives from Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Lyon, Wolfsburg and Sevilla were also allegedly at De Kuip to see Ajax win 2-1.

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Kokcu refuses to wear rainbow armband

While Kokcu would be a good addition to United’s ranks on football terms, he caused controversy earlier this season by refusing to wear the rainbow armband for Feyenoord’s match against AZ Alkmaar.

Ahead of the game, Feyenoord tweeted a personal explanation as to why Kokcu refused to don the armband, which is worn to raise awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

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Kokcu said: “I have decided not to wear the rainbow captain's armband this round.

“I think it's important to emphasise that I respect everyone regardless of religion, background or preference.

“I believe that everyone is free to do what they want or feel. I fully understand the importance of this action, but because of my religious beliefs, I don't feel the right person to support this.

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“That's why I don't feel comfortable wearing this captain's armband. I can imagine some people are disappointed with this.

“That is absolutely not my intention, although I realise that I may not immediately be able to take away that feeling with these words. But I hope that my choice for religious reasons will also be respected.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Transfers, Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Premier League

Chris Byfield
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