Manchester United have started working on a deal to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV in January.
Sources have indicated to 90min that United’s hierarchy have green-lit the decision to move for the Dutch international, per manager Erik ten Hag’s wishes, with interest in the player dating back to last summer when Ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford.
Gakpo’s price tag is likely significantly higher now than it was at the start of the season, with the 23-year-old hitting nine goals and providing 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie games before the World Cup.
In Qatar, Gakpo scored in every group game as the Netherlands reached the quarter finals – though the team lost out to eventual winners Argentina on penalties. PSV know that his exploits in the last six months has seen his reputation and value increase.
United and Ten Hag have parted ways with Cristiano Ronaldo since the Premier League break for the World Cup, and the cancellation of the Portuguese’s contract – which came at little to no cost to United – has made room on the books for a replacement. Ten Hag has encouraged United to make their move for Gakpo, and now they could press ahead with a deal.
PSV have already accepted that Gakpo will likely leave the club in January, as long as their valuation is met. They have made it known to the player’s representatives that they would require a club record £45m deal to part with the player.
Manager Ruud van Nistelrooy, a former United striker, admitted earlier this week his side may be powerless to stop a deal happening in January.
He told Voetbal International: “If I have the choice, I prefer [Gakpo to leave in] the summer, but it can also be now. You just know there comes a time when you can’t say no.”
Gakpo himself insists he won’t be rushed into a deal, but it is believed a move to United has long been his target. Leeds and Southampton have also shown interest from the Premier League but they understood to be out of the running.
Despite United being in pole position, others have expressed an interest in Gakpo – with Newcastle United and Arsenal amongst those who have held an active interest in the player for months. Even Real Madrid’s scouts have reported back positively on him.
United, however, remain in the driving seat.