Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Next Man Utd signing almost certain to be Dutch star as Ten Hag contact confirmed amid ‘close’ transfer reveal

Cody Gakpo and Jurrien Timber

There is a strong possibility Cody Gakpo will be the next arrival at Manchester United after the winger revealed he has spoken to Erik ten Hag about a transfer.

Gakpo was hunted by Manchester United, Leeds and Southampton during the summer transfer window. All three Premier League sides were in contact with him and PSV to try and organise a deal before the September 1 deadline.

Despite their advances, Gakpo remained in the Netherlands. Neither Manchester United, Leeds or Southampton could meet PSV’s demands and this meant the Eredivisie club did not sell.

The day after the transfer window closed, Gakpo spoke openly about how he expected things to go. He said Man Utd had made contact at the start of the summer and that he was gunning for a move to Old Trafford from then on.

But as we entered the last week of the window, Man Utd’s silence was telling. They were reluctant to spend a big fee on Gakpo after forking out £86million to sign Antony from Ajax.

Leeds continued talks with PSV after the window closed. They were trying to get the upper hand and bring the attacker to the Premier League in January.

As per David Ornstein of The Athletic, Leeds came ‘close’ to reaching an agreement over Gakpo’s signing. Ultimately, though, he has now decided to reject the Whites. Instead, the 23-year-old will hold out for a move to a bigger club who is competing in Europe.

This gives Man Utd a great chance to snare Gakpo. They are playing in this season’s Europa League and are eyeing Champions League qualification for next year.

Man Utd edging closer to £39m capture

According to a recent update from journalist Florian Plettenberg, Man Utd are making progress in a €45m (£39.2m) transfer for the star. It seems Ten Hag is tightening his grip on the signing.

And Gakpo has now heightened the rumours that he could become Man Utd’s first new arrival of 2023. During an interview with The Times, he has revealed his numerous conversations with Ten Hag.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,” Gakpo admitted.

“In the end the deal didn’t go through, which was a shame for me and my development. And because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also for PSV, because to transfer a player to Manchester United is a good thing for the club.

“It ended about a week before the end of the transfer window and in that week I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton. In the end I stayed, but it was a stressful period.”

Ten Hag appears destined to work with Cody Gakpo

While Gakpo’s summer move to England fell through, it looks set to go through next year.

Man Utd are eager to win the race for the Netherlands international as he is one of the highest rated young attackers in Europe.

Ten Hag already has strong options out wide. This includes Antony, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga.

But if Man Utd want to catch up with rivals Manchester City over the next few years, they must equal Pep Guardiola’s squad depth. And signing players like Gakpo is the best way to do this.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims two Man Utd stars are facing uncertain futures due to Ten Hag.