Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag to use secret weapon in January bid as Man Utd told top target will move club next year

Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons

Former Barcelona star Boudewijn Zenden is adamant Cody Gakpo will not be at PSV next season, with reports Manchester United will swoop in January.

Gakpo, 23, has been turning heads with his displays for both club and country. The winger is in his fifth full season for PSV and been steadily improving year on year. He scored 21 goals in all competitions last season, with seven of those coming in Europe.

And the Eindhoven-born ace has already found the net 13 times and assisted 17 goals in 2022-2023.

His form prompted Louis van Gaal to hand him a spot in the Netherlands World Cup squad. And the youngster has responded, with a goal in each of his nation’s three group games.

He did not find the net as Oranje beat USA 3-1 to advance to the quarter-finals in Qatar. But the man with 13 Holland caps played a full part in a superb display by Van Gaal’s side.

United have been heavily linked with a winter move for the wide man.

And Zenden, who also played for Chelsea and Liverpool during a stellar career, is convinced Gakpo is on the move.

“I’m not sure if PSV can keep him after this World Cup in the winter transfer window, or will he still finish [the season] at PSV and go in the summer.

“But one thing’s for sure, this is going to be his last season at PSV.

Gakpo tipped for big things

Many pundits have spoken about Gakpo’s potential. Rio Ferdinand is a big fan and recently suggested the club’s owners should have bought him last summer.

His price tag has more than doubled since then but Paul Scholes also believes he should be targeted by the Red Devils.

Zenden has observed Gakpo’s progress in recent seasons. And the man who won 54 Netherlands caps feels the sky is the limit.

“He’s definitely got a bright future. He’s strong, he’s able to dribble, he’s not backing out of any situation,” he added.

“But of course, you have to be mindful that he’s still a young player, he still has to develop.

“Is he capable of that? I think he is. It’s logical to be making the next step now at his age, to go and perform at another level.

“He’d be a great addition to the Premier League.”

Man Utd set to launch Cody Gakpo January bid

Most things point to Gakpo moving to the Premier League sooner rather than later.

Leeds United looked set to secure his signature last summer before PSV blocked the move at the 11th hour.

Liverpool have also been linked but The Sun are reporting it is Manchester United that will strike first next month.

The man with six Netherlands goals has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League.

And it has been claimed that PSV are now ready to cash in on their superstar player.

Although talks have yet to get underway, the fact Ten Hag and Gakpo share the same agent will likely smooth negotiations.

A fee of around £50m has been mooted for the deal to be completed.

The talented forward has mainly been used as a winger but harbours ambitions of playing as a central striker.

Whether Ten Hag sees it the same way is unknown. But his arrival would certainly give United’s Dutch tactician more options in the final third.

READ MORE: Troubled Man Utd star falls further from grace as Erik ten Hag stance on ‘worst buy’ revealed