PSV Director of Football Marcel Brands has told Manchester United what they need to do to complete the signing of Cody Gakpo in January.
Gakpo has more goal contributions than Erling Haaland so far this season, which shows how good his form is. While Haaland has registered 23 goals and three assists for Manchester City, Gakpo is on 13 goals and 18 assists for PSV.
And the versatile forward continued to shine at the World Cup with the Netherlands. He found the net three times in his first three World Cup appearances to help his nation qualify from Group A in first place.
After beating the USA 3-1 in the round of 16, the Netherlands came up against Argentina in the quarter-finals. However, that is where Gakpo’s World Cup dream came to an end. Following a pulsating 2-2 draw after extra time, Emi Martinez helped to send Argentina through with a couple of penalty saves in the resultant shootout.
Gakpo’s inspired performances on the world’s biggest stage have only seen his stock rise. It is now a question of where he goes in January, rather than if he leaves PSV.
Real Madrid have previously been named as potential suitors for the 23-year-old. But recent reports suggest the La Liga giants will not be signing anyone mid-season, ruling them out.
From the Premier League, there has been interest from Man Utd, Liverpool, Southampton and Leeds.
Liverpool appear to be pursuing other targets at the moment, while a lack of European football will hold Southampton and Leeds back. As such, Man Utd are seemingly in the driving seat to snare Gakpo.
The star has previously spoken about his desire to join the Red Devils. Perhaps this is down to their Dutch manager Erik ten Hag, who has already taken the likes of Lisandro Martinez and Antony on board from the Eredivisie.
Star could follow Ruud van Nistelrooy’s lead
Gakpo may also want to emulate his current PSV boss Ruud van Nistelrooy. He left PSV for Man Utd in 2001 and went on to bag 150 goals in 219 games for the club, winning several trophies in the process.
PSV chief Brands has now opened up on Gakpo’s potential transfer following his World Cup exit. He says Man Utd must hand PSV their record sale when signing the attacker. That is currently the £38.5million move of Hirving Lozano to Napoli.
Secondly, Man Utd needs to be ‘the right bid for Cody’s plans’.
“Only 10/12 clubs can afford Cody Gakpo in January,” Brands declared (via Fabrizio Romano). “Let’s see if it will happen — it has to be PSV record sale and also the right bid for Cody’s plans.
“We have still no official bids. Let’s see if some club will pay big money in January.”
The first demand is fairly straightforward for Man Utd. They must pay way more than £38.5m for Gakpo, potentially as much as £56m.
However, the second demand is effectively out of their hands. This is because Gakpo will have a big say in where he ends up, as both him and PSV want to make sure his talents are not wasted.
What Man Utd can do is show Gakpo exactly how he will fit in at Old Trafford. This will come directly from Ten Hag.
The main way he could convince Gakpo to join will be to tell him he is Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement up front. Many players would love to have this challenge, given Ronaldo’s massive achievements during two spells in Manchester.