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Cody Gakpo latest: Van Dijk aims dig at Man Utd as Netherlands attacker breaks silence on transfer mood

Cody Gakpo and Virgil van Dijk representing the Netherlands

Cody Gakpo has reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup with the Netherlands and continues to attract interest from Man Utd – which he has now responded to.

Gakpo has been one of the stars of the World Cup, scoring in all three of Holland’s group matches. He failed to score in the round of 16 against the USA, but other scorers ensured progress with a 3-1 win on Saturday.

The attention will still be on Gakpo for the foreseeable future, largely because of his situation at club level. Man Utd have been heavily linked with the PSV forward as they look to add more to their attack in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit.

Erik ten Hag is keen to go back into the Eredivisie market in order to sign Gakpo, who has scored 13 goals from 24 appearances for PSV so far this season.

Man Utd will already be doing their groundwork for the deal. But a transfer is not currently crossing Gakpo’s mind just yet for understandable reasons.

After the win over the USMNT, Gakpo told The Athletic: “I have to be honest, I am not thinking about that now.

“I am focused on the tournament and want to keep performing well, to keep helping the team. Hopefully when we become world champions we can think about other things.

“I try to keep focused and the other players don’t really speak about that kind of thing.”

Van Dijk predicts ‘next step’ for Cody Gakpo – and puts down Man Utd

However, one of those other players has been discussing Gakpo’s next step.

Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who plays for Liverpool, will obviously not want to see Gakpo at Man Utd.

And the 31-year-old has now suggested that Gakpo could have bigger things to aim for.

Addressing some of his options, Van Dijk said: “Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level? No disrespect, not at all.

“I definitely think he has that next step in him. I definitely feel like it could happen, whether that is in the winter or the summer or next year, time will tell.

“He is a great boy who works hard, very talented and definitely there is more in him. We are so pleased he is doing so well for us. Long may it continue.”

Man Utd will be hoping Gakpo still deems them worthy of being his next club. His ambitions have been growing constantly in recent months.

For example, in the summer, he was close to joining Leeds, but has become out of reach for them. Man Utd are now of the level he is aspiring to, but with a lack of Champions League football for this season, they will be hoping they aren’t left behind as well.

They should have nothing to fear just yet and appear to be Gakpo’s prime suitors. Only time will tell if they can get a deal done in January.

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