Leeds have been given a major lift in their plans to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven next year, though Whites director of football Victor Orta must handle Manchester United first.
Gakpo was the subject of a summer transfer scramble involving numerous Premier League teams. Leeds, Manchester United and Southampton all tried to sign him before the September 1 deadline.
Their interest came after the winger notched 21 goals and 15 assists for PSV last season, making him one of the hottest properties in Dutch football.
All three Premier League sides were in contact with PSV and Gakpo’s representatives about a move. Orta even flew to the Netherlands to try and help Leeds win the race for the attacker.
However, Orta came back empty handed, while Southampton and Man Utd also lost out. Gakpo ultimately remained at the Philips Stadium.
He soon conducted an interview with PSV TV where he spoke about wanting to go to England, and Man Utd in particular.
The 23-year-old said: “Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window. We were waiting for that a bit.
“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction.
“That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week, I thought I would go to Manchester United.
“In the last week I looked at all options. In the end PSV came up with a good offer and that turned out to be the right choice for me.”
Cody Gakpo shines despite failed move
Gakpo continues to make a big impact for PSV, having registered 10 goals and nine assists already this term. Plus, he has captained the side in most of their Eredivisie matches.
Leeds and Man Utd remain on the player’s trail as they look ahead to the 2023 transfer windows.
Sport Witness have now given a big update on Gakpo’s situation, while citing reports in Holland – and it is great news for Leeds.
They claim PSV have been backed into a corner and must sell one of their prized assets next year to balance the books.
This could mean selling central midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, who is on Leicester’s radar. More likely, though, PSV will allow Gakpo to leave as he will bring in more money for them.
PSV apparently need to sell either Sangare or Gakpo on or before July 1, to put them back in a strong financial position.
Leeds given leg up in PSV pursuit
This gives Leeds a great opportunity to agree a deal with PSV and finally land the wide man. PSV are in a bit of a rush to sell him and this could force them to lower their demands.
However, Jesse Marsch’s side must deal with Man Utd first. According to a recent report from Football Insider, the Red Devils are planning to make a new approach for the Netherlands international.
Man Utd are confident about winning the race for Gakpo due to them being able to offer him European football. Leeds are ambitious but cannot use this as a selling point right now.
Man Utd’s offer is described as a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ one for PSV. Should they reject Man Utd’s advances, then Leeds could become the frontrunners for Gakpo.
One interesting factor to consider is Leeds and Man Utd will have to negotiate with a different PSV chief than before.
PSV sacked technical director John de Jong in September after revealing the board had lost confidence in him. Reports in the Netherlands claim this was down to his handling of the Gakpo discussions.
The Eredivisie side haven’t announced De Jong’s successor, so Leeds and Man Utd are waiting to see who they may have to speak with about Gakpo’s move.