Man Utd, Ten Hag dealt huge blow as top transfer target shuts down talk of January move

Reported Man Utd target Cody Gakpo during a warm-up Credit: Alamy
Reported Man Utd target Cody Gakpo during a warm-up Credit: Alamy

PSV winger Cody Gakpo has said it would be an “honour” to play for Man Utd but is not “ready” to make a big-money transfer in January.

The 23-year-old was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer transfer window.

Leeds United, Southampton, Arsenal and Man Utd were all said to be interested.

Following the £80million signing of Antony, Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag opted against adding Gakpo to his squad.

There are still plenty of rumours that state the club remain interested, however.

It is believed that Leeds were the closest to signing the young winger in the summer, but did not really intensify their interest until deadline day, when the transfer window in the Netherlands was already closed.

PSV were in no position to sell the player at that point and were reluctant throughout the entirety of the summer due to their participation in Champions League qualifying.

They dropped into the Europa League group stage after being beaten by Rangers, though this did not result in a move for Gakpo.

After an incredible 2021-22 campaign, the Netherlands international has not slowed down.

This season he already has nine goals and 12 assists in the Eredivisie and provided five goal contributions in PSV’s Europa League group stage campaign.

With nine caps for his country, Gakpo was unsurprisingly included in Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad.

Given his outstanding form this term, it is no surprise to see Gakpo linked with a move in the winter transfer window.

Arsenal are believed to be in the market for a new wide-man due to their lack of depth and reported desire to loan out summer signing Marquinhos.

Man Utd, on the other hand, could pursue another attacker with Cristiano Ronaldo still pushing for an exit.

PSV reportedly value Gakpo at £40million, which is a very respectable price given his form and importance to them.

While Barcelona, Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal are said to be keen, the player himself appears to want to stay at his current club until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old has said he will “be ready” for a big-money move in the summer and admits it would be an “honour” to play for Barcelona, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd or Real Madrid.

“I think at the end of this season, I will be ready to take that step,” Gakpo told NOS.

“I feel like I was already that way at the beginning of this season, but after this season, I’m even more ready to take the next step.

“It would be an honour to play there [at Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United or Real Madrid], but I also have to see what kind of team I can best achieve my goals.”

When asked if he has a dream club he wants to play for, Gakpo replied: “PSV was always my dream club. I don’t really have one for the rest.”

Man Utd made a similar signing to Gakpo back in 2015 and it did not go to plan.

The Red Devils paid £30m to sign Memphis Depay from PSV after he lit up the Eredivisie.

Gakpo’s international teammate struggled at Old Trafford and ended up joining Lyon 18 months later for half of what the Premier League club paid to sign him.

Since his difficult spell in England, Depay thrived for Lyon before making the move to Barcelona, where he is tipped to leave in 2023.

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