Manchester United have reportedly reached an ‘agreement in principle’ with PSV Eindhoven’s Netherlands international Cody Gakpo. The sensational reports come from Football Insider who have supposedly received information from their sources. United were interested in Gakpo in the summer but it looked like he was a fall back option on Antony if the club failed to sign him. However, the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo leaves United short of attacking players.
The Old Trafford club were certain to sign a striker at some point in 2023 with only Ronaldo and Anthony Martial experiences in the position plus with Ronaldo’s expected departure next summer, the position would need to be filled. Now that Ronaldo’s contract at United has been terminated following that interview with Piers Morgan, United’s need for a striker is much stronger. It would need to be the right profile for United though – providing that player was available in January.
Gakpo is not a striker but has played centrally and it is possible that United, under Erik ten Hag could field a team without an out-and-out striker if they are not able to get their man in January. There will be lots of speculation in the coming weeks linking United with every attacking player under the sun – which is the norm ahead of the transfer window anyway. But United will need to get things right as there is a struggle for goals this season and that will need to be fixed.
If the reports regarding the ‘agreement in principle’ is correct, with Gakpo, United will need to reach an agreement with PSV Eindhoven ahead of the January transfer window, which could be a major stumbling block with the player on fire this season, scoring 13 goals and 17 assists for his club in 24 appearances added to his two goals at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar scoring against both Senegal and Ecuador. He is certainly a talented player that many clubs will be interested in.
There was a rumour on Saturday that Gakpo has ‘gone’ from PSV in January with Dutch broadcaster Hans Kraay Jr making the statement. There is no smoke without fire and these rumours seem to be coming from somewhere. Gakpo was waiting for his move to United in the summer, but on deadline day as United were completing the signing of Antony, nothing else materialised, despite how good he could have been for the Old Trafford club at the time.
With his rise to stature in the Eredivisie this season, United would be silly not to take a look at signing the player. There are players at the club in the attacking line that do not have what it takes to fulfil what United would require of them and Anthony Elanga is one of those. Allowing him to find his feet at a manageable level would be much better than expecting something that is. not going to be possible from the player. Having Gakpo instead would be much better for United.
It is suggested in the media on Sunday that Liverpool have an interest in Gakpo. PSV sporting director Marcel Brands has indicated that Anfield could be a potential destination for the 23-year-old, which could scupper United’s transfer plans altogether. Whether it be Liverpool or United, the Premier League seems to be the most likely destination for the winger, whether it be in January or in the summer. Ruud van Nistelrooy would probably prefer to keep his star player for longer.
Since the departure of Ronaldo earlier this week, it has been reported that Ten Hag has told the club of two players that he would like to add to his squad with Gakpo being one of them and AC Milan attacker Rafael Leao being the other. However, Gakpo would not be a cheap signing for United considering his start to the season and Leao will cost £100 million or more. Neither are out-and-out central strikers though but Ten Hag knows what he is building.
It could be an interesting time for United over the next few months with the transfer window opening on New Year’s Day and the impending sale of the Old Trafford club which also started to develop as Ronaldo’s departure was announced. Getting rid of the Glazers will be the best thing that has happened for United in a long time. The rot that has come in with the American owners has been terrible to watch, as has their milking of the club for money.
Written by John Walker