Manchester United transfer a ‘serious option’ says Cody Gakpo as £84m Antony deal agreed

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester United’s imminent signing of Antony was believed to have put paid to their rival pursuit of another Eredivisie star in Cody Gakpo.

It was generally thought that Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag would push to land the PSV Eindhoven favourite before Thursday’s transfer deadline only if he could not seal a reunion with the Brazilian winger, whom he coached during his time in charge at Ajax.

The Antony deal - an Eredivisie record - has now been agreed, per multiple outlets including BBC Sport, with United poised to spend a huge £80.75million up front, with another £4.25m then potentially due in add-ons.

The 22-year-old is expected to pen a five-year deal with the option of a further 12 months when he travels to Manchester this week for a medical, joining current captain Harry Maguire as United’s joint-second most expensive signing ever, behind only Paul Pogba.

Antony will also reunite with ex-Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and become the fifth arrival of Ten Hag’s first summer window in the job, following Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.

But with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future still subject to much uncertainty with only four days now remaining until the deadline, Gakpo seems to have suggested that a big-money switch to Old Trafford potentially remains on the table for him also.

“Manchester United is one of the interested clubs, but there are other options,” he told ESPN after scoring for PSV in Sunday’s 6-1 thrashing of Excelsior in the Dutch top-flight.

“United is a serious option, though. I can hear it all. I’m trying to get rid of it, but that’s difficult.”

Commenting specifically on the Antony deal, Gakpo - who has also been heavily linked with the likes of Arsenal this summer - said: “Nice for him… but for me and my future, I think that has no influence.

Manchester United may still push to sign Cody Gakpo despite their big-money deal for Antony (Getty Images)
Manchester United may still push to sign Cody Gakpo despite their big-money deal for Antony (Getty Images)

“It’s like a puzzle so in the next days I will see which puzzle fits best — for me, it’d be certainly not bad to stay at PSV. We’ll see.”

While Gakpo starred for a PSV side managed by United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy on Sunday, Antony was omitted from Ajax’s squad for their 2-0 win at Utrecht after demanding to leave the club in a bombshell interview on Friday night.

Afterwards, Ten Hag’s replacement Alfred Schreuder expressed his upset at the way the saga had transpired.

“Everything is about money. I think this is sad,” he said. “But this is our world. It’s very sad and I don’t approve that these things at all.”