Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd could lose Cody Gakpo to Liverpool as PSV chief throws stunning transfer curveball

Cody Gakpo of PSV Eindhoven during the Dutch Eredivisie match between PSV and Heracles Almelo at Philips Stadion

Manchester United may be in danger of losing the Cody Gakpo transfer race to deadly rivals Liverpool, if PSV Eindhoven sporting director Marcel Brands gets his way.

The PSV star has thrust himself into the transfer limelight after some unreal displays in the Netherlands. Named the 2022 Eredivisie Player of the Year, Gakpo scored an impressive 21 goals, weighing in with 15 assists last season.

That form led Manchester United to strongly pursue his signature, with a deal in the works until Erik ten Hag opted instead to pursue Antony. To be fair, after spending close to a club-record fee on the Brazilian, it would have been very frivolous to also bring in Gakpo.

And their decision to put his transfer on ice allowed other suitors to come calling. Southampton were the first to try their luck, seeing a club-record bid knocked back.

But no other side perhaps came closer than Leeds with director of football Victor Orta chartering a flight to Eindhoven on the eve of the summer deadline.

Leeds, though, were unable to strike a deal and a beaten Orta returned to West Yorkshire a beaten man. Now, Fabrizio Romano claims the Gakpo ship has sailed for Leeds United.

However, their rivals over the Pennines, Manchester United, appear very much still in the mix.

Cody Gakpo transfer talks with Man Utd are no secret

Gakpo has spoken openly about their efforts to sign him and appears wide open to the possibility of a January move.

“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.”

And that potential move to United appears to have taken a significant move forward in recent weeks. Indeed, according to widespread sources, United are close to agreeing a deal in the region of £40m. Furthermore, Gakpo himself appears to have settled on a move to Old Trafford.

However, PSV chief Brands has seemingly thrown a major curveball into the mix.

Speaking about Gakpo’s future in the media, he suggests he would rather see Gakpo move to Liverpool than Manchester United.

“Liverpool is a club that is always very focused,” Brands told ESPN NL. “Sometimes they get players for the next season in November.

“Would they be a good partner to send Gakpo in the summer? Yes, that’s right.”

Brands comes clean on failed Leeds efforts over the summer

Discussing Leeds’ Cody Gakpo transfer bid over the summer, Brands admits the Whites’ efforts at adding incentives to the deal were not great.

“Leeds United offered €30million with €11m as a bonus,” Brands said. “Six of them were to be payed if Leeds reached the Champions League.

“People said and wrote a lot about this, but no one within the organisation of PSV wanted to accept this.

“If United offered the money that we wanted to have for Cody, then we would’ve sold him. You can not stop him then. With bonuses we wanted to go up until €50m.”

Brands, though, also suggests it is highly likely that Gakpo will leave and that PSV are powerless to block his sale.

Brands added: “An agreement has been made with Cody and his management, we cannot ignore that.

“It is not a clause, but if the right club offers the right amount, then it is an option. Whether we already have an adequate replacement in mind? Of course there are always lists of names that we look at.”

With 26 goal contributions from his first 20 games this season, whoever lands the 23-year-old will be getting themselves a very special player.

And despite Brands throwing Liverpool’s name into the mix, it seems unlikely they will be in the running.

READ MORE ~ Transfer Gossip: Man Utd to hijack £35m Liverpool deal as Ten Hag eyes perfect Van de Beek upgrade