Cody Gakpo: Leeds Utd told by PSV chief how transfer can happen as star takes matters into his own hands
Leeds United remain very much in contention to seal the Cody Gakpo transfer in January after PSV director of football Marcel Brands informed the Whites how they can go about sealing his signature.
The reigning Eredivisie Player of the Year finds himself one of European football’s most in-demand stars. Gakpo smashed in 21 goals and weighed in with 15 assists last season to underline himself as a player of huge quality. And this season, he appears to have raised his game to another level, with nine goals and six assists from eight games to his name.
As such, it’s little wonder to find himself so very sought after. He has interest in him from several Premier League sides, with Manchester United agreeing personal terms with the player over a move. Ultimately, they abandoned their chase for Gakpo once it became apparent that their deal for Antony was closing in.
Southampton were the next to try their luck, though their bid – albeit a club record one – was swiftly turned down.
But few clubs were arguably closer than Leeds to his signature. The Whites’ director of football Victor Orta flew out to Eindhoven on the penultimate day of the summer window on a mission to sign Gakpo.
The Whites launched a club-record offer for the star and thought they had a deal over the line. Ultimately, Orta returned home a beaten man, with Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal playing a part in the deal breaking down.
Leeds instead went out and secured the signing of Italy striker Wilfried Gnonto to ease their squad shortages for now.
But Gakpo remains very much on their wanted list and Fabrizio Romano is adamant the Whites are ready to try again.
PSV chief tells Leeds how to secure Cody Gakpo transfer
Leeds’ efforts to secure the Cody Gakpo transfer fell short due to the way the deal was structured.
While Leeds offer was for a club record £38.8m, the actual deal was only for £26.6m up front. A further £11.3m would be made up in bonuses.
And it seems PSV chief Brands feels the structure of those add-ons were not to their liking.
Speaking to Voetbal International, Brands declared: “I can say with my hand on my heart that there has been no offer for Cody to which the management or the supervisory board have said: we must do this.
“We did state that if there were certain offers, we would have to sell. Not only from a financial point of view, but also because agreements were made with the Gakpo camp before my time.”
Discussing Leeds’ summer bid of £26.6m (€30m) up front and £11.3m (€13m) in add-ons, Brands hints a restructured offer would force a re-think.
On reports of a €43m bid from Leeds, PSV chief Brands added: “It was €30m plus €13m, of which only €2m were realistic.
“For example, we would get €6m if they made it to the Champions League.
“Bonuses are only good for me if they are realistic. This was the very best offer and we all said no to that.”
Whether that prompts Leeds to make a fresh move remains to be seen.
Winger changes agent to help secure move
However, it appears securing a transfer is one thing still on Gakpo’s agenda.
While PSV can offer him European football, there are limits as towards the salary on offer in the Eredivisie.
And the player knows a move to the Premier League can see his earnings sky-rocket.
In order to help grease the wheels, Football Insider reports that Gakpo is eyeing a change of agents to help secure a transfer.
The winger is on a contract until 2026, but it appears unlikely he’ll remain at the club for long.
In fact, Gakpo is seemingly looking to force through a move in 2023, be it the January or summer windows.
By that stage, Leeds may find that competition for Gakpo is tougher than ever.
A solid World Cup for the player is only going to bring him to bigger clubs’ attention.
As such, Leeds may have to make early advances with PSV and try put something in place now.
They would also be wise to charm Gakpo’s new representatives once they have been chosen too.
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