Man Utd backed to include floundering star in perfect Gakpo swap that would justify ruthless Ten Hag call

Cody Gakpo of PSV celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Dutch Eredivisie match between PSV and FC Volendam at the Philips Stadion on August 31, 2022 in Eindhoven

Erik ten Hag can kill two birds with one stone by including a struggling Man Utd star he’s taken a ruthless stance on in a move to sign Cody Gakpo, per one observer.

Manchester United are intent on providing their manager with brand new firepower next month. The Red Devils always intended to sign a new centre-forward in 2023. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit has brought their plans forward from June to January.

PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo is the player drawing the strongest links. He’s been a revelation at the World Cup with the Netherlands and has 36 goal contributions in 33 matches for club and country this season.

Liverpool have been linked with hijacking a move, though TEAMtalk’s transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, told us there’s there’s “no indication that they will launch a rival bid.”

Arsenal could be in the mix following confirmation Gabriel Jesus has undergone knee surgery. The Brazilian’s return timeframe, as well as how Arsenal might cover his absence was recently detailed.

But it continues to be Man Utd most heavily linked with Gakpo whose valuation has risen to around £50m.

A January move would be ideal for United, though PSV would take some convincing to part ways with their most prized asset mid-season.

But according to former England boss, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Man Utd could sweeten the deal by including a floundering star as bait.

Man Utd flop can help sign Gakpo?

Via the Mirror, Eriksson touted the idea of throwing Donny van de Beek in as a makeweight. The Dutchman’s career has nosedived since arriving from Ajax in 2020 and he’s clearly in need of a change of scenery.

A loan exit to a club where he’ll play regularly would make sense, though not according to Ten Hag. Indeed, he recently claimed it’s permanent sale or bust for Van de Beek.

In Eriksson’s scenario, Ten Hag would be justified in refusing loan approaches, with his midfielder then used as a bargaining chip to sign Gakpo as well as lower the transfer’s cost.

As such, including the midfielder in a cash-plus-player deal to sign Gakpo would make sense for all involved.

PSV would land an attack-minded star with a point to prove, as well as a fee on top. Man Utd would get their Ronaldo replacement and simultaneously rid themselves of their Van de Beek problem.

“We’re talking about two very good players and I believe it could be a great deal for both parties,” said Eriksson.

“It would make perfect sense, Gakpo is a dynamic attacker and direct. Just what United need – and for one reason or another Van de Beek just hasn’t been suited to England and the Premier League.

“Erik ten Hag knows all of these players and if he thinks a swap deal is a good idea then why not?”

For Sven’s plan to work, of course, PSV would have to be willing to take a punt on Van de Beek. There’s no indication which side of that argument they’d fall on at present.

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