Ten Hag sets Man Utd ‘priority’ for first January signing, as Red Devils prepare to blow other suitors away

Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons

The first January signing for Manchester United looks set to be a Dutchman flying at PSV, after Erik ten Hag reportedly made him a transfer ‘priority’.

Ten Hag and Man Utd scouts will be keeping a keen eye on how the Netherlands do at the World Cup. This is because they hold an interest in several of Louis van Gaal’s players.

Man Utd have set their sights on Denzel Dumfries. The Inter Milan star has been tipped as a potential replacement at right-back, should Aaron Wan-Bissaka be sold. Presumably, Dumfries would start on the right side of defence ahead of Diogo Dalot, too.

Ten Hag also wants to take Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford. However, this will be an incredibly tough task after De Jong revealed his desire to stay at Barca for as long as 10 years.

Another player Man Utd will be monitoring in Qatar is Cody Gakpo. The forward has already got among the goals for Holland too, bagging their opener in the 2-0 victory over Senegal on Monday.

Man Utd pursued Gakpo during the summer but ultimately failed to bring him to the Premier League. They failed to meet PSV’s asking price, which stood at around £45million.

Even Gakpo himself admitted he expected to join the Red Devils in the summer. And he was left disappointed when they didn’t put a suitable offer on the table.

Since then, the 23-year-old has continued to shine for PSV. His record for this season stands at an impressive 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 matches.

Ten Hag hoping to link up with Dutch ace

This has shown Man Utd what they have missed out on, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo no longer in their squad. As a result, Ten Hag is now desperate to land Gakpo in January.

According to French outlet Media Foot, the manager has made signing Gakpo a ‘priority’ for Man Utd this winter.

He wants the club to ‘step up’ their interest in him, after ‘courting’ the versatile attacker for several months.

PSV’s demands have increased since the summer. While they previously asked for £45m to sell Gakpo, they are now requesting €60m (£51.5m). This will be down to his great performances in the Eredivisie and his opening goal at the World Cup.

Luckily for Ten Hag, Man Utd have more than enough money to pay £51.5m and capture Gakpo. They are ready to blow all of his other suitors out of the water, which apparently includes Liverpool and Arsenal.

Gakpo generally plays as a left winger. This means he wouldn’t immediately arrive at Man Utd to replace Ronaldo.

However, Gakpo has all the attributes to turn himself into a deadly centre-forward. So while Man Utd fans may have some doubts about his potential signing, he is highly likely to prove them wrong.

There are alternatives for Man Utd, just in case they are beaten to the punch for Gakpo. The Manchester giants are also keeping tabs on Victor Osimhen and Joao Felix.

But given how open Gakpo has been about Man Utd’s interest, it seems they are his preferred destination for when he takes the next step away from PSV.

Meanwhile, Man Utd have joined Barca in the pursuit of a Real Sociedad midfielder, according to reports.