Manchester United are preparing a move for £35m-rated PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo.
United boss Erik ten Hag, who shares the same agency as Gakpo, is keen on signing the 23-year-old to boost his attack.
Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia have been signed in defence along with midfielder Christian Eriksen already this summer, but the Dutchman has been unable to strengthen his front line yet.
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With Anthony Martial currently injured and concerns over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, United are looking for more options up front.
They missed out on striker Benjamin Sesko, who will join RB Leipzig next summer, and recently withdrew their interest in Bologna’s Marko Arnautovic.
United have spent much of the window chasing their primary forward target Antony, but it had long emerged that Ajax plan to keep him and would expect just shy of £70m for that to change.
Gakpo, currently managed by former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, has emerged as a more long-term solution to the lack of quality options in the forward department.
The Netherlands international is a product of PSV’s academy and scored 21 goals in 47 games last season.
PSV’s stance has been if a club with strong financial resources come in, it is implausible to retain their star players.
Meanwhile, United have agreed a deal to sign Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
There is still work to do until the transfer is complete, with personal terms still needing to be negotiated with his agent and mother Veronique, but it is expected to go through.
‘Gakpo a player Ten Hag knows’
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy on The Transfer Show:
“Manchester United are priming an offer for PSV winger Cody Gakpo.
“They have long said they have alternative attacking targets. It will surprise no one when I say this is a player Erik ten Hag knows, as I said it is the manager driving their recruitment process.
“Ruud van Nistelrooy being in the PSV dugout might help smooth matters. PSV have had a public stance that they would like to keep their key players, but ultimately they know if a club comes in with major financial resources, they wouldn’t be able to decline that.
“He’s versatile, can play as a focal point if needed. This is another player where you wonder why United didn’t try this earlier. He is represented by SEG, who also represent Ten Hag.
“We know that PSV with their Champions League qualifying campaign, don’t want to listen to any offers until they’re certain of their position in the tournament.
“Had this been done at the start of the window, it would have been a different story, that wouldn’t have been as critical.”
Lessons for Ten Hag after Brighton defeat
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate at Old Trafford:
Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game in charge of Manchester United ended in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford.
Supporters had come in the hope of seeing some progress under the new coach but it was old failings that proved the difference instead…
Read the full feature here
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