Cody Gakpo latest: Leeds given major transfer belief as Dutch source drops Wijnaldum-style stepping stone claim
Leeds United have seen their prospects of landing Cody Gakpo enhance amid a telling admission from a leading Dutch journalist.
The Whites are on the verge of seeing their star man Raphinha depart for what will be a club-record fee. Indeed, a £60m-plus move to Chelsea looks on the cards, with the Brazilian bringing to an end his sublime two-year stint at Elland Road. Signing for just £17m from Rennes, Raphinha has been the leading light at Elland Road.
However, finding a replacement for the supremely-talented Brazilian is far from an easy task. Raphinha has had a goal involvement every 2.3 games for Leeds, with 17 goals and 12 assists in his 67 games for the club.
One name though that Leeds are looking into signing his Gakpo. He has first mentioned as a target for Victor Orta last week, with reports on Tuesday suggesting he was open to discussing a move with Leeds.
The PSV winger enjoyed an incredible 2021/22 season, scoring 21 times and laying on 15 assists to win the Eredivisie’s Player of the Year crown.
And while PSV are not actively looking to sell, a bid in the region of £34m (€40m) will convince them to cash in.
That said, competition for Gakpo is likely to be tough. He has previously been mentioned as a target for Liverpool and Arsenal, while Tottenham were recently reported as potential suitors.
Price emerges for PSV winger
However, Voetbal International journalist Marco Timmer insists Leeds do still have a chance.
He claims Gakpo is willing to consider a transfer to Leeds with the Whites seen as a potential stepping stone for the player. Looking at the example of Georginio Wijnaldum – who left PSV for Newcastle before then joining Liverpool – Gakpo could sign for Leeds as the next step up in his career.
Writing on his Twitter, account, Timmer said: “The management of Cody Gakpo speaks with Leeds United as it has previously spoken with, among others, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.
“PSV want 40million Euros for Gakpo.
“He now also sees a route a la [Gini] Wijnaldum via the foreign sub-top to the top.”
Leeds would need to break transfer record for Cody Gakpo
Despite that Leeds United would still need to shatter their transfer record to sign the 23-year-old. That currently stands at the £27m fee paid to Valencia for Rodrigo two summers ago.
They are also exploring the possibility of signing Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugges. Whether Leeds could land both remains to be seen though Fabrizio Romano opens the possibility that Leeds are not just looking to Gakpo as a potential Raphinha replacement.
Speaking on the Que Golazo YouTube channel, Romano said: “Gakpo is a possibility. Gakpo is a possibility. It’s one of the names that they have in the list
“I’m told it’s not top of the list at the moment for Leeds. But it’s one of the names, one of the possibilities, but now for them, as they always do, they want to find a solution for Raphinha.”
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Whether Romano’s assessment is accurate or not, Leeds will be pulling off a major coup if they can land Gakpo. His is the sort of signing that can help their fans move on from Raphinha, with the player equally as entertaining and with a sharp eye for goal.
They may need to convince the player first, though it’s no bad thing if he sees Leeds as a stepping stone as that will elevate their transfer chances.
Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands that Charlie Cresswell has interest in his services from Sunderland, with Millwall also keen on a loan.