Transfer Gossip: Ten Hag unconvinced by Gakpo as Man Utd chase double deal for World Cup talents; Leeds challenge Wolves for Atletico star

Rafael Leao attends a training session at Cidade do Futebol training camp in Oeiras, Portuga

Erik ten Hag has another attacker he would prefer to sign over Cody Gakpo with the price for the Netherlands star rising all the time, Leeds will match any Wolves bid for Matheus Cunha, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims Barcelona are chasing a top Liverpool target.

RAFAEL LEAO OVER CODY GAKPO FOR ERIK TEN HAG

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is growing increasingly wary of signing Cody Gakpo with the Netherlands forward’s price tag doubling in a matter of months.

The Red Devils held talks with Gakpo over the summer in what would have been a £25m-£30m deal. Ultimately, though, they decided to shelve their interest as the trail for Antony began heating up. And their decision almost let Leeds in to pinch his signing.

However, Gakpo’s incredible form this season has now got United firmly interested again. The PSV star has 30 goal contributions from 24 games this season, with three goals in four World Cup appearances to boot.

As such, our transfer expert Graeme Bailey has run the rule over the race to sign the 23-year-old star, with Liverpool also firmly in the mix.

But with demand high for Gakpo, his suitors are now looking at around a £50m-£55m package to sign him. That’s more than double the fee he could have been signed for in the summer.

With the price seemingly only likely to escalate, the Daily Mirror claims Ten Hag has another option in mind.

And they saw the United manager likes the look instead of Portugal forward Rafael Leao. Like Gakpo, Leao can operate across the forward line, either off the wings or through the middle. Rated at nearer the £100m mark, Ten Hag seemingly thinks a deal can be done for a similar fee to Gakpo.

United want Rafael Leao and Moises Caicedo

Leao’s contract at AC Milan is due to expire in summer 2024 and the club are desperate to tie him to an extension. But a failure to get a deal agreed may yet lead to his January sale. Milan have been stung before with the likes of Franck Kessie and Gianluigi Donnarumma both departing as free agents.

And while Leao still has 18 months to run, he may move on for a sizeable fee next month.

That has seemingly opened the door for United to swoop for Leao, who is also wanted by Chelsea.

Ten Hag is also reportedly desperate to bring in Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo.

His Ecuador team crashed out of the World Cup at the group stages, though the midfielder still made a big impression.

Caicedeo only earns £10,000 a week at Brighton, so Ten Hag seemingly fancies his chances of signing him.

And while Brighton may seek as much as £75m, journalist Simon Phillips believes a deal is in their sights.

“Manchester United are also very keen on him as well, so there are other clubs there,” he told Givemesport. “I don’t think anything will be done again in January for Caicedo, I think it will be in the summer.”

Caicedo has also made clear his ambitions of playing for the Red Devils.

“My dream is to play for Manchester United. Antonio Valencia is an example to follow,” the Ecuador international told The Athletic.

“With his strength and dedication, he was able to get to that level. That motivates me to keep working hard and do the right things.”

BARCELONA JOIN LIVERPOOL IN MOHAMMED KUDUS HUNT

Liverpool will have to bat off competition from Barcelona if they want to land Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus, claims a report.

The Ghana star has made a big impact this season after six goal contributions in six Champions League games.

That has led to speculation that a number of clubs are looking at him. And our exclusive revealed one of those firmly in the mix are Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp having the Ghana star watched at the World Cup.

Any deal for Kudus, though, will not come cheap. Capable of playing across the attack or even in midfield, Ajax are likely to demand around £40m for the star.

Now The Sun claims Barcelona are ready to join the scramble for his signature. Their finances look set to clear and transfer business in January now looks a possibility.

However, the paper does suggest Liverpool may well be in the driving seat. Kudus is reportedly keen to move to England and would be willing to discuss a move were a deal with Ajax to be agreed.

LEEDS CHASE MATHEUS CUNHA DEAL

Leeds United are reportedly willing to match any agreement Wolves strike with Atletico Madrid for Brazil forward Matheus Cunha.

The attacker has been put up for sale by Atletico after the team crashed out of European competition. And to make up for the shortfall in their losses they are preparing to offload Cunha, who has failed to impress since signing.

Indeed, the 23-year-old has just seven goals in 54 appearances since moving to the Wanda Metropolitano in summer 2021. That tally includes a goalless 17-game run this season.

Matheus Cunha Atletico Madrid

As such, Atletico are willing to move the Olympic gold medallist on. As such, reports over the weekend claimed Wolves had agreed a fee reportedly in the region of £28m.

However, the player is yet to accept the move, nor agree personal terms over a move to Molineux. Now they face seeing their transfer bid hijacked with Spanish outlet Relevo claims Leeds are looking to match their offer.

The Whites are also in desperate need for a new striker, with Patrick Bamford now a year without a goal. And they were on Cunha’s trail just prior to the Brazilian’s move to the Spanish capital.

For his part, Cunha is reportedly willing to move to the Premier League, with Leeds now hopeful of pinching the deal. Everton are also reportedly keen on Cunha too.

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