Transfer Gossip: Man Utd go above and beyond to sign lethal Ronaldo replacement amid Liverpool threat; Man City agree most important deal yet

Erik ten Hag of Man Utd

Liverpool are threatening, but Man Utd have taken the initiative over signing a clinical forward to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, while Man City have agreed their most important deal yet – both in Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip.

MAN UTD MOBILISE FOR NEW ATTACKER

Man Utd have learned how much it’ll take to sign a lethal forward in January and a report claims the Red Devils have gone above and beyond their transfer rivals – including Liverpool.

Old Trafford is the centre of attention at present following two blockbuster announcements from the club.

Firstly, Cristiano Ronaldo has mutually agreed to leave six months before the end of his contract. His explosive interview with TalkTV was the catalyst behind his premature exit, and how much United will save in unpaid wages has been revealed.

That bombshell was quickly followed by news of the Glazer family putting Manchester United up for sale.

Sky News claimed they could seek as much as £9billion, though a subsequent club statement highlighted the possibility of the controversial American owners potentially clinging on to power.

Regardless, today’s Transfer Gossip regards the former story, specifically who could take Ronaldo’s place in Erik ten Hag’s forward line.

On that front, Italian outlet Calciomercato report it’s Man Utd who are leading the race to sign Dutch ace Cody Gakpo.

The PSV Eindhoven winger has been on United’s radar for some time, including over the summer when they prioritised Antony instead.

Gakpo could’ve been signed for around £35m at the time, though his incredible form – 34 goal contributions in 30 appearances this season – has seen his valuation swell.

Calcio report PSV will no longer sell for below €45m-€50m. That equates to a top end valuation of around £43m.

Even that raised figure is well within United’s means. What’s more, TEAMtalk’s transfer insider recently explained why PSV will be more open to selling in January than they otherwise might’ve been.

Liverpool threatening, but Man Utd lead

Calcio’s report stems from covering AC Milan’s interest in Gakpo, though they also put Liverpool in the frame.

The Reds have reportedly taken a sizeable amount of information regarding the potential transfer. However, it’s stressed that it’s Man Utd ‘above all others’, who’ve done the most legwork.

United also have the obvious Dutch connection in their locker through manager Ten Hag. If the Red Devils are to sign Gakpo, he could slot in at centre-forward for the remainder of the season before the club pursue a more permanent successor to Ronaldo in the summer.

Gakpo’s versatility allows him to operate anywhere across the front line, though his favoured position is left wing.

As far as six-month stop gaps go, there wouldn’t be many better than Gakpo who would then move on to the wing next season if an out and out centre-forward is signed at a late date.

On that front, both Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe have been touted.

MAN CITY AGREE CRITICAL DEAL

Man City have agreed arguably their most important deal that will be a bitter blow to each and all of their Premier League rivals, per a report.

The blue half of Manchester have been the dominant force in England over the last decade, but it’s under the tenure of Pep Guardiola where they’ve really tightened the noose.

City have won four of the last five Premier League titles. They’ve also produced three of the seven highest-ever single season points totals in EPL history over that time.

While superstar players such as Kevin de Bruyne have been instrumental in everything City have done well, the real spark behind their dominance has been Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard’s current deal is due to expire at season’s end and losing him would be a bitter pill to swallow for City – especially as Jurgen Klopp penned fresh terms at Liverpool earlier in 2022.

Klopp committed his future until 2026, and per the Athletic, Guardiola has followed suit by agreeing a two-year extension at the Etihad.

His deal – which is understood to be agreed, though not yet officially confirmed – will be structured as an initial one-year deal.

Both Guardiola and the club will then have a say on whether to break the contract after 12 months. If they opt against that route, he’ll stay for a second year. In all, his future is potentially secured until 2025.

FABRIZIO ROMANO DELIVERS MAN UTD, LIVERPOOL BLOW

Liverpool and Man Utd hopes of signing Borussia Dortmund hotshot, Youssoufa Moukoko, have been dashed by Fabrizio Romano.

The 18-year-old is one of world football’s hottest properties in the final third.

Moukoko earned a call up to the German national side for the World Cup on the back of several eye-catching displays at club level this season.

Moukoko is due to become a free agent at season’s end, something that sparked mass speculation Dortmund could cash in at last chance saloon in January.

Indeed, Football Insider reported Moukoko was due to sign his first professional contract with an England-based agency upon turning 18 three days ago. That was reportedly with a view to lining up a move to the Premier League. As with every rising German star, he’s also been indexed to Bayern Munich.

However, according to transfer guru Romano, Moukoko is in talks over a contract extension at Dortmund.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the trusted source said: “From what I’m told, at the moment there are still no advanced negotiations between Bayern and Youssoufa Moukoko.

“It’s still an open situation. Moukoko is speaking to Borussia Dortmund, because Borussia Dortmund want to extend his contract, also with the potential plan to sell him at the right moment, as they did with Haaland, as they did with Sancho, as they will with Jude Bellingham. So with a very clear plan to sell him at the right moment.

“It’s up to Moukoko, but at the moment, nothing advanced with Bayern, and many clubs interested.”

Romano went on to claim clubs from England, Italy and Spain are all circling. Though it sounds like they’ll have to wait beyond 2023 to land their man.