Manchester United remain favourites to sign Cody Gakpo before the transfer window closes – but they will likely face strong competition for the winger’s services from Everton.
The PSV Eindhoven forward has been the subject of intense speculation all summer. The reigning Eredivise Player of the Year has been the subject of much interest, with Arsenal and Leeds among his initial suitors. But lately, the strongest interest has emerged in him from Manchester United.
Gakpo is a player extremely well known to new boss Erik ten Hag thanks to his exploits in the Netherlands last season. Their interest, however, was expected to be shelved in the wake of their near £85m agreement to sign Antony.
That, though, does not seem to be the case, with United still very much in the hunt for his signing alongside that of Antony. To that end, Gakpo himself revealed that United hold ‘serious interest’ in him. The winger also offered his thoughts on Antony’s move to Old Trafford.
With just days to go in the window, Gakpo will know his fate before the week is out.
However, it appears United will not have things all their own way as far as his signing is concerned.
Indeed, the 63-goal winger admitted that he has a few options on the table in terms of potential transfers.
Now, according to Football Insider, one of those alternative approaches has reportedly come in from Everton.
The Toffees are looking to strengthen their squad in the final days of the window and are reportedly setting their sights on Gakpo.
Their interest has seemingly arisen around Chelsea’s efforts to prise Anthony Gordon to Stamford Bridge. To that end, the Blues are reportedly offering Everton a tidy £25m and two players as part of the deal.
Man Utd still in driving seat for Cody Gakpo
And while Gordon now looks likely to stay at Goodison Park, Everton’s interest in Gakpo remains.
They are reportedly now plotting a mammoth bid for his services that will satisy PSV’s £35m asking price.
However, whether that convinces Gakpo to make the move to Goodison remains to be seen.
Indeed, as per De Telegraaf journalist Valentijn Driessen it’s United who ‘seem to be in pole position’.
However, Driessen feels Gakpo will be ‘playing Russian roulette’ by moving abroad at this stage and with the World Cup on the horizon.
As things stand, he looks a certainty to make the Netherlands squad. But a move overseas will offer no guarantees of playing time. As such, Driessen feels a transfer now would prove something of a gamble.
His likely exit though appears to be of a growing concern to PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooy.
With just days left in the window, the sale of Gakpo now would leave PSV in a bit of a transfer fix.
“Your best players may still be bought out now, but you can’t do anything beforehand,” Van Nistelrooy told ESPN. “Each day that passes, the time to respond is shorter. It remains to be seen whether it will be possible to find a replacement at all. We have to make the most of it.”
Winger would thrive in the Premier League
Despite Driessen’s warnings, there would be no doubt for us that Gakpo would be a success in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old 21 goals and 13 assists last season, meaning he boasted a goal involvement every 1.3 matches. While he would find that tricky to replicate in a much tougher Premier League environment, he does have the ability to ensure he’s not a flop.
He is a player too that Ten Hag knows well, where he to successfully bring him to United. One of his 21 goals was a stunning free-kick in the KNVB Cup final that earned PSV glory and denied Ajax the domestic double in Ten Hag’s final season.
Playing off the left wing or as a central striker, Ten Hag may also see Cody Gakpo as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. A fluid front three, for example of Antony, Gakpo and one of Jadon Sancho or Marcus Rashford would pose a genuine goal threat.
United will first focus on completing the Antony signing, before turning their attention to Gakpo.
One player the Red Devils will not be signing though is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His wages, together with Barcelona’s demands, seemingly mean the 33-year-old now looks off the agenda.