Gakpo bid ‘planned’ as Red Devils close in on Ten Hag’s top target

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Manchester United are reportedly planning a €50million (£43.1m) bid to sign PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo after his stellar World Cup performances.

Gakpo has impressed this season, scoring 13 and assisting 17 times for his club.

He carried his club form into this winter’s World Cup with the Netherlands, before his side were beaten by finalists Argentina in the quarter-final.

There is plenty of interest in the 23-year-old, with Arsenal and Manchester United both said to be considering a swoop when the transfer window re-opens next month.

Both sides are in need of a new forward, with Cristiano Ronaldo leaving United and Gunners No. 9 Gabriel Jesus expected to miss three months after undergoing knee surgery.

Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag has admitted that he is prioritising the signing of a new forward following Ronaldo’s departure.

“Yes, we want to sign a forward in January but only when we find the right player,” Ten Hag said. “We will do everything in our power.”

Southampton and Leeds United both made bids to sign Gakpo last summer, but a move failed to materialise.

After his strong start to the season and exploits at the World Cup, it is highly unlikely that Gakpo will settle for either of those clubs, with all due respect.

A move to Arsenal or Manchester United will match his ambition, and the signing certainly makes sense for either Premier League club.

United valued Gakpo at around €40m last summer, but are now preparing a €50m offer in the winter window, according to The Telegraph.

Ten Hag wants the Dutchman to be a direct replacement for Ronaldo after the club brought forward their search for a new attacker.

United ‘want to back’ Ten Hag after being ‘impressed’ by his start at Old Trafford, and in particular his handling of Ronaldo.

The report states that the Dutch manager ‘wants’ Gakpo, while the club also have some interest in Benfica and Portugal striker Goncalo Ramos.

PSV sporting director Marcel Brands has stated that the sale of Gakpo will have to be a club-record deal.

Their highest sale is currently Hirving Lozano’s €45m move to Napoli in 2019, meaning United are prepared to break that record.

One player currently at United who the jury remains out on is Jadon Sancho.

While Gabby Agbonlahor has backed United fans to stick with him, Graeme Bailey claims the potential arrival of Gakpo could put Sancho’s future in jeopardy.

READ MORE: The secret behind how to stop Lionel Messi revealed as Maguire is given Manchester United ‘lifeline’

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