A senior Liverpool figure is ‘charmed’ by Cody Gakpo and is pushing Jurgen Klopp to hijack a partially agreed move to Man Utd, while a surprise Chelsea option that could sharpen their blunt attack in January has been detailed – both in Sunday’s Transfer Gossip.
LIVERPOOL THREATEN MAN UTD MOVE FOR GAKPO
Man Utd may have forged an ‘agreement in principle’ with PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands ace, Cody Gakpo, but bitter rivals Liverpool could have the final say, per a report.
The 23-year-old has emerged as a primary candidate to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. Given he’s already scored twice at the World Cup and his club record this season stands at 35 goal contributions in 31 matches, United’s interest looks well-placed.
Erik ten Hag is reportedly ‘determined’ to bring his fellow Dutchman to England. Football Insider recently stated Gakpo has an ‘agreement in principle’ with the Red Devils.
While that’s certainly a step in the right direction if true, United would still need to forge a deal with Gakpo’s club, PSV.
An exit in either January or the summer are both viable options, though an end of season switch does appear the likeliest scenario at this stage.
Gakpo was available for around £35m over the summer and the player confirmed he spoke with Ten Hag on multiple occasions. However, United prioritised the signing of Antony and Gakpo’s remarkable form since them has seen his price tag swell.
Publications have varied, though the common consensus is if Gakpo were to move today, he’d command between £40m-£50m. He can operate anywhere across the front line, including centre-forward.
He’d be an ideal addition for Ten Hag, but per the Liverpool Echo, Klopp’s Reds are a very real danger.
News from the Netherlands puts Man Utd on notice
They cite Dutch journalist, Hans Kraay, who reported Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders has been ‘charmed’ by Gakpo.
Lijnders is also Dutch and is reportedly pushing Klopp to hijack any move Man Utd make.
Both Lijnders and Klopp have taken a more hands-on role regarding Liverpool’s recruitment over the last 12 months. With sporting director Julian Ward recently resigning, that’s a trend that’s expected to continue, and if they deem Gakpo worthy, could go all out to scupper Man Utd’s proposed move.
Hans Kraay explained to ESPN: “Gakpo is gone. PSV are not going to keep him, and cannot keep him anymore.
“Gakpo will soon be playing in the Premier League. The chance that it will be Manchester United is now a lot higher again, because Cristiano Ronaldo has left.
“They have even more money available. At Liverpool, assistant Pepijn Lijnders is charmed by him, so he is chasing Jürgen Klopp. Yes, Gakpo is gone.”
Whether he’s “gone” to Old Trafford or Anfield, however, remains up in the air.
CHELSEA CAN SHARPEN ATTACK FOR FREE
Graham Potter can save Todd Boehly millions by activating an option that would bolster his failing attack in January, though it sounds like it’d be an unpopular move, per reports.
Chelsea are currently the lowest scorers of all teams situated in the top half of the Premier League table.
Their tally of 17 goals is three worse than Man Utd (20). Next in line are Brentford and Brighton with 23 apiece.
With Newcastle making the ‘big six’ a ‘big seven’, competition for the Champions League places is fiercer than ever. Unless Chelsea’s stuttering attack can click into gear, they face a very real danger of missing out on the riches of UCL football next season.
That could temper future spending and get the Boehly era off to an underwhelming start. Christopher Nkunku’s potential arrival next summer would remedy their woes, though the Frenchman can’t help Chelsea this season.
According to German outlet Kicker, there is a player who could make an instant impact. What’s more, he won’t cost a fee as he’s already on the club’s books.
They report Chelsea can activate a recall clause in the loan deal of Callum Hudson-Odoi starting in January.
The lively winger is on a season-long loan at Bayer Leverkusen, and while he’s featuring regularly, has hardly set the world alight.
Loan return wouldn’t please many
He’s provided just one goal and one assist across 15 appearances between the Bundesliga and Champions League. How big of an impact he’d make in the second half of the campaign at Stamford Bridge is clearly open to debate.
Furthermore, recalling Hudson-Odoi would appear to be an unpopular decision with both the player himself and Leverkusen’s manager.
Via the Express, Hudson-Odoi recently claimed the loan to Leverkusen was exactly what he needed.
“I play a lot here and I really enjoy it,” said the 22-year-old. “It was the right time for my career to come here.”
Leverkusen manager, Xabi Alonso, would also like to see the loan completed in full.
“I would very much like to keep him,” said the ex-Liverpool midfielder. “I am sure he will stay until the end of the season. He is an important player for us.”
Unfortunately for Alonso, the final decision will be Chelsea’s and any help their forward line can get in January would be gladly received.
WEST HAM, EVERTON CHASING MLS STAND-OUT
Everton and West Ham have both made contact with Chicago Fire forward, Jhon Duran, with a January deal in their sights.
The Colombia international, 18, is one of the MLS’ hottest properties at present.
Duran has drawn links with both Man Utd and Liverpool, but per the Sun, it’s West Ham and Everton who have jumped the queue.
They claim both clubs have contacted the player’s camp regarding a January switch. Duran plays primarily at centre-forward and is valued around the £10m mark.
Duran bagged eight goals and five assists for Chicago Fire during the 2022 campaign and is reportedly being ‘advised’ to join a smaller team if he does move to the Premier League.
While West Ham and Everton might not like to hear it, they would tick that box when compared to Man Utd and Liverpool.
What’s more, if that moniker allows them to sign Duran at the other two’s expense, then it’s all’s well that ends well.