Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘fully expect’ to sign £45m attacker extensively scouted and ready to crack Premier League

Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons

Manchester United are ‘fully expecting’ to complete a deal for PSV winger Cody Gakpo, with the club greenlighting a January transfer, TEAMtalk understands.

United’s primary focus next month is replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, with Gakpo top of their shortlist to add some attacking depth after a superb first half of the season for club and country.

The 23-year-old was the Netherlands’ top scorer with three goals as they reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup. That added to his impressive haul at club level, where Gakpo has notched 36 goal contributions in just 34 matches this season.

The winger’s price tag looked to be spiralling out of control at one point, having gone up from £35million last summer when United were first interested to a whopping £65m after his exploits in Qatar.

However, the Telegraph reported earlier this week that United’s initial £43m offer was just £2m shy of what PSV are realistically looking for.

And a report in the Daily Mirror on Christmas Eve states that talks are already underway.

United expecting big-money new arrival

Well, TEAMtalk can take that a step further after our own transfer insider Graeme Bailey told us that the Red Devils fully expect to get a deal over the line in the new year.

Bailey said: “Cody Gakpo is now emerging as Manchester United top target for the New Year, and the club’s hierarchy have greenlighted his arrival and we fully expect this to happen.

“United have done their homework on him and he is primed for a move to the North West.

“Erik Ten Hag has wanted Gakpo since the summer, no denying that. And he fully believes he offers something that they don’t have – whether that is a Cristiano Ronaldo replacement we are not sure.

“Ten Hag is clearly building something at Old Trafford and United’s hierarchy believe in him. Part of that is backing him, letting him make the decisions.

“I firmly believe this is the right path for United and we are seeing it, like with the David De Gea decision too.

“Is Gakpo a gamble? Of course, any player from the Dutch league is – we have seen that throughout recent years…for every Luis Suarez, there is an Alfonso Alves, or Mateja Kezman or Davy Klaasen…but Ten Hag clearly thinks Gakpo has all the attributes to succeed in England.”

United are back in action on December 27 when they host Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

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