Manchester United will reportedly quickly follow up the signing of Antony by sealing another blockbuster deal, with PSV winger Cody Gakpo dropping a huge hint over a move to Old Trafford.
After weeks of speculation, United have finally struck a deal to bring Antony to the red half of Manchester. One of Erik ten Hag’s top summer targets, his side Ajax have made United pay an eye-watering fee to land the Brazilian. To that end, Fabrizio Romano has revealed details of the new-club record fee United will have to pay Ajax.
United will ultimately pay the Amsterdam side a fee close to £85m, which comfortably sets a new Dutch record transfer fee. Antony will pen a five-year deal with the option of a sixth season, becoming their fifth signing of the summer.
Ten Hag’s side, though, are not stopping there and a deal for Gakpo is seemingly next in line.
Indeed, for long periods it seemed as though it would be one or the other for United.
But with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future still very much in the melting pot, United are also closing on Gakpo next. The Portuguese superstar is still agitating for a move away from Old Trafford. That’s despite seemingly looking all smiles during Saturday’s win at Southampton.
And with just four days left in the transfer window, United cannot afford to leave themselves short in attack. And finally, it seems as though a taker for the veteran star has been found, with Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti coming clean on their interest.
Losing his goals from their attack will leave Ten Hag with a huge hole to fill. And while not a direct replacement, it seems Gakpo will be United’s next big-name signing.
Cody Gakpo admits Man Utd are ‘serious option’
To that end, the winger has surprisingly come clean on just how close a move to Old Trafford is.
Questioned by ESPN after scoring in PSV’s 6-1 win over Excelsior on Sunday, Gakpo made things clear.
“Manchester United is one of the interested clubs, but there are other options,” he said.
“United is a serious option, though. I can hear it all. I’m trying to get rid of it, but that’s difficult.”
Gakpo could soon be lining up alongside Antony at Old Trafford and the question of the Brazilian’s move was next put to the Dutchman.
“Nice for him… but for me and my future, I think that has no influence.
“It’s like a puzzle so in the next days I will see which puzzle fits best. For me, it’d be certainly not bad to stay at PSV. We’ll see.”
Gakpo would be an excellent signing for United
Rated at around the £35m – £40m mark, Gakpo would prove an excellent signing for United.
Operating, in the main, off the left wing, he was deservedly named Eredivisie Player of the Year in the 2021/22 season. Indeed, he is a playre that Ten Hag knows extremely well.
And Gakpo scored the winner in the KNVB Cup final, curling home a brilliant free-kick to deny Ajax the domestic double.
That was just one of 21 goals and 13 assists he registered last season – a goal involvement every 1.3 games.
However, he has shown himself playing as a central striker too – and that is perhaps where Ten Hag will use him if Ronaldo departs. Anthony Martial is, of course, another option, while Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also give them further options.
First up for United, though, will be the completion of the Antony deal.
On the subject of his transfer, Ten Hag’s successor Alfred Schreuder, expressed his anger at the way the saga has unfolded.
“Everything is about money. I think this is sad,” he said. “But this is our world. It’s very sad and I don’t approve that these things at all.”