Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd learn new Cody Gakpo transfer price, as updates on two other striker targets differ wildly

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

Man Utd have learned the new price required to complete a Cody Gakpo transfer, while Fabrizio Romano provided wildly differing updates on two other striker targets.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit has left Manchester United at a crossroads. Erik ten Hag was understood to be willing to go without a direct replacement for the remainder of the season, though the club are determined to do right by their new manager.

Instead, United’s plan to sign a new centre-forward has been brought forward six months from next summer to January. Speaking in an interview with The United Stand, transfer guru Romano confirmed those intentions.

Ten Hag’s primary target is understood to be fellow Dutchman, Cody Gakpo.

The PSV forward, 23, is primarily a winger, though can play up front and Football Insider previously claimed an ‘agreement in principle’ has been forged between Gakpo and United.

Liverpool have been linked with hijacking a move United first explored over the summer. Reds assistant, Pep Lijnders, is a keen admirer of Gakpo and both he and Jurgen Klopp have taken a more hands-on role in Liverpool’s recruitment over the last 12 months.

However, Romano spoke only of United when assessing the latest on Gakpo’s future, and relayed the new sums involved in any deal.

Gakpo was understood to be available for around £35m if signed last summer. However, his incredible form this season – 35 goal contributions in 31 games (including two goals at the World Cup prior to today’s clash with Qatar) – has seen his valuation swell.

“In the summer PSV were prepared to accept around €40m (approx. £35m),” said Romano.

“Now they want €50m (approx. £43m) guaranteed, as well as add-ons.

“After his World Cup and his excellent performances for PSV Eindhoven, I think he’s worth the money.”

Updates on alternative targets differ wildly

Gakpo is by no means the only attacker linked with a switch to Old Trafford in January.

Kylian Mbappe, Victor Osimhen, Marcus Thuram, Joao Felix and Jonathan David have all been touted by one outlet or another, and Romano had differing updates on the latter two.

Lille and Canada’s David, 22, can be signed for between €45m-€50m (£39m-£43m) in January, per Romano.

The question now will be whether United deem him worthy of that fee. David has struggled to impose himself on proceedings in Qatar and if the World Cup served as a de facto audition, David has failed it thus far.

Atletico Madrid’s Felix has reached the end of his tether in Spain and is angling for a way out in January.

Felix has fallen out with manager Diego Simeone and is known to be on PSG and Man Utd’s radars.

A loan exit has been touted, though that would do little to ease the financial pressure Atletico are under after failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

Instead, Romano stressed Felix could leave in the winter window, though likely only via the permanent route for a significant fee.

“Atletico invested £113m in Felix [in 2019],” said Romano. “When you invest [that much] in one player and then loan him out? This is not in Atletico Madrid’s style.

“Their priority will be to try and keep the player and then see what happens in the summer. But I’m told Felix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is working on solutions to bring a big proposal.

“Not a loan, but something really big to tempt Atletico and change the situation.

“Man Utd have always had an interest in Joao Felix so let’s see if they return, but also Felix is not the kind of No 9 United are looking for.

Romano concluded by reiterating: “A loan deal is going to be more than difficult.”

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