The 2022 World Cup could be a launch pad for players in the coming months with Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo among those linked with a transfer in 2023.
Gakpo has been a leading light for Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands in Qatar with three goals from four appearances during the tournament.
The 23-year-old was tipped to leave PSV ahead of the 2022/23 campaign but a move away from the Dutch giants did not materialise.
His form in the Middle East has revived rumours of a Premier League transfer, either in the January window or at the end of the domestic season. Those came to pass even before the January transfer window had opened.
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Cody Gakpo transfer news
Gakpo’s incredible haul of 12 goals and 14 assists for PSV so far in 2022/23 has put him back on Manchester United’s radar ahead of the winter transfer market.
The Red Devils considered signing the forward in the previous transfer window before deciding to invest an initial £82 million ($98.3m) for Brazil’s Antony, who had played under United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax.
Talk had resurfaced of a possible bid from United in January, with their forward options reduced by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. The rumoured asking price of £50m ($60.9m) would likely be too steep for Leeds United, another club linked with an interest in Gakpo but one unlikely to engage in a bidding war.
Yet Liverpool swooped in and completed a swift transfer, with a £37.5 million deal completed on December 26.
PSV and @LFC have reached an agreement on the proposed transfer of Cody Gakpo.
The 23-year-old attacker will leave for England imminently where he will be subjected to the necessary formalities ahead of the completion of the transfer.
— PSV (@PSV) December 26, 2022
The words of Gakpo’s new Liverpool teammate, Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk, earlier in the month proved prophetic.
“Are Manchester United and Real Madrid at the same level at the moment? No disrespect, but they are not. I think he definitely has the next step in him. I feel like it could happen,” said Van Dijk, as per the Daily Mirror.
“Whether it happens in the winter or next year, time will tell. He works hard, is very talented, and there’s definitely more in him. We are very pleased with how he’s doing and long may it continue.”
If United are unwilling to meet PSV’s increasing valuation of Gakpo, they could look to include former Ajax schemer Donny van de Beek in a player-plus-cash deal, according to former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
“We’re talking about two very good players and it could be a great deal for both parties. It would make perfect sense. Gakpo is a dynamic and direct attacker,” Eriksson told Boyle Sports.
“He’s just what United need, and for one reason or another, Van de Beek hasn’t been suited to England and the Premier League.”
However, Eriksson echoed Van Dijk’s view that United could be forced out of the running if PSV and Gakpo receive an offer from Real Madrid.
Cody Gakpo contract and transfer fee at PSV
With transfer interest growing in Gakpo at the start of 2022, PSV fas-ttracked a contract extension for him in January. His deal now runs until June 2026.
PSV have not included an exit clause in Gakpo’s deal. His value was estimated to be around €45m (£38.7m/$47.3m), with United rumoured to have seen a £49m (€56.9m/$59.9m) bid rejected in August.
A report from the Daily Express claim his World Cup exploits will raise his value to a minimum of £64.5m (€75m/$78.8m).
Cody Gakpo clubs and trophies
Gakpo emerged through the academy ranks at PSV after joining in 2007 before making his debut for the reserve side (Jong PSV) in 2016.
After netting netting 17 goals in the second tier, Gakpo was promoted to the first team in 2018, with his first senior goal coming in the 2018/19 season.
Since a permanent breakthrough into the first team at the start of 2019/20, he has netted 35 league goals, and 53 in all competitions.
He was awarded an Eredivisie title-winners’ medal at the end of 2017/18, despite making just one league appearance in the campaign. He has since won the 2021/22 KNVB Cup, and the Johan Cruyff Shield in 2021 and 2022.