Erik ten Hag is said to ‘appreciate’ PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo, per Fabrizio Romano in his daily football transfer briefing for Caught Offside.
The Daily Mirror’s Simon Mullock has also reported on United’s interest in the 23-year-old but adds that Arsenal and Leeds United are also in the race for the £40 million-rated Dutchman.
United have turned their attention to Gakpo as they are unwilling to meet the price Ajax have set for Antony.
Dutch Winger Cody Gakpo ‘Appreciated’ by Manchester United
Cody Gakpo's game by numbers vs. FC Emmen:
100% shot accuracy
4 touches in opp. box
3 passes into the box
Will he still be there when the window shuts? 🥵 pic.twitter.com/plZAlowLk4
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 6, 2022
The Player Ten Hag Appreciates
Gakpo “is certainly a player Erik ten Hag has appreciated for years,” reports Romano.
Last season Gakpo played 27 games for PSV in the Eredivisie, scoring and assisting 12 each as his club finished the season two points behind Ten Hag’s Ajax. It compares favourably to Antony’s record, who scored eight and assisted four in his 23 matches for Ajax.
This perhaps has much to do with how Antony keeps his width as a traditional winger much more than Gakpo, who often tends to drift inside and play in central positions.
A deal for Gakpo is also expected to cost less compared to Antony as Ajax are unwilling to lose any more of their important players this season.
Cody Gakpo — primarily a left winger and very aggressive on the ball; he ranked 4th in progressive carries in Eredivisie whilst registering 17 goals and 13 assists in just 29 90s for PSV in all competitions last season.
It is unsurprising to see us linked with the 23-year old. pic.twitter.com/fFYvL4U36a
— UtdArena (@UtdArena) August 7, 2022
Manchester United’s Transfer Woes
Romano, however, warns that a deal for Gakpo could prove to be difficult. Manchester United are yet to begin any talks with PSV Eindhoven and are likely to look for alternatives.
The midfield position continues to be one that United want to reinforce together with their right-wing. United’s primary target, Frenkie de Jong, is now linked with Chelsea if he indeed leaves Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly reached an agreement with Fabian Ruiz, the Napoli midfielder believed to be an alternative target.
While Manchester United has seen several players leave in the transfer window, including Paul Pogba, they have only made the three major transfers of Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.
It appears that time is running out for Manchester United to aid Erik ten Hag in his dream revolution.