Cody Gakpo has emerged as a target for Manchester United.
That is according to The Mirror, who report that Erik ten Hag has added the PSV Eindhoven player to his wish list after being frustrated in his pursuit of Antony.
Ajax have slapped an £80m price tag on the Brazilian, forcing the Red Devils to shop around for a solution to their lack of firepower, with £40m Gakpo preferred.
The Netherlands forward enjoyed a terrific season in the Eredivisie last term, scoring 12 goals and laying off 13 assists in 27 appearances.
Contrary to the report, Gakpo has played almost exclusively as a left winger throughout his career, although his goalscoring nous and height could possibly see him grow into a striker role somewhere down the line.
That would not make him an immediate solution to United’s centre forward woes, however, with questions over Anthony Martial’s fitness and Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
It also would not make him much of alternative to Antony, who is left-footed and plays on the right.
United are in dire need of attacking reinforcements, but it seems the one position that they are well-stocked in is that of Cody Gakpo.
Signing Gakpo would therefore be a somewhat strange move, borne of desperation in the face of a ticking clock and necessitating some positional creativity.
The Dutchman is an intelligent off-ball runner as well as a physically imposing player, so it is possible that Ten Hag would want to convert him into a full-time centre forward.
His comments on a certain former Red Devil may add substance to such speculation:
“I really don’t want to compare myself with Van Persie. I can only dream of my career heading the same way as his. And I can only hope that I can play for a great club once I go abroad. I know I will have to work really hard to achieve it.”
This would make him more of an alternative to Benjamin Sesko, who the club remain in talks with.
As far as PSV are concerned, any discussions hinge on the outcome of their Champions League third-round play-off against Monaco on Tuesday night – a match in which a win could be worth £60m to them.
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