Although the World Cup is in full swing, Premier League clubs are already turning their attention to January, and planning on making additions to their squad to strengthen for the second half of the campaign.
Manchester United are one of those clubs that could look to strike some deals, and it may well be a busy window for them.
A replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo is needed after he was sacked by the Red Devils in the wake of a two-part interview he gave with Piers Morgan.
There are expected to be other outgoings, and Alex Telles appears to be heading for the Old Trafford exit door as he seems to be out of favour with Erik ten Hag.
PSV winger Cody Gakpo is on their radar, and he is attracted by several other clubs, including Arsenal. But should United pursue a deal for him when the transfer window reopens?
In this guide, we tackle a few key issues surrounding Gakpo, and we will discuss whether he is worth the hype.
While United have pulled off some coups over the years, for every Dimitar Berbatov they have brought in, there has been an Alexis Sanchez that has flopped. While Sanchez was a revelation when he was at Arsenal, he toiled under Jose Mourinho, managing just five goals before he was flogged to Inter Milan.
United have made some disastrous signings, but with a chance to grab silverware and a top four spot up for grabs, there is little margin for error. Ten Hag’s scouts will have been very meticulous in doing their ground checks on Gakpo and will have left no stone unturned. Ten Hag, of course, knows that the top four is the minimum remit. Currently, the Red Devils are trading at EVENS to claim a top-four berth with 888Sport, a reputable bookmaker, who also feature some of the best free spins no wagering offers.
Putting himself in the shop window
Despite being in the early throes of the World Cup, the tournament allows players to put themselves in the shop window and showcase their skills on the world’s biggest stage.
Gakpo made an immediate impression in the opening group game against Senegal when he opened the scoring late on for the Netherlands, and he was a menace throughout. His display earned him the Man-of-the-Match award, and he will certainly be one to watch over the coming weeks. His stock could rise too, and it is expected he could fetch as much as £43 million.
United have been known in the past to fumble in the summer transfer window, and Gakpo was one of those targets that slipped from their grasp.
A move for Gakpo collapsed with the player accusing the club of “rushing things”, which in turn, meant a deal was unable to materialise.
Reflecting on that, Gakpo said: “Last week I thought I was going to Manchester. Then it was “choose another club” and decide whether I wanted to go there. That is not nice for PSV and also not for me, because it felt rushed.”
United have re-ignited their interest, and they will have to go through the process once again, but they must let things take their course to ensure a deal gets over the line.
Star quality needed
While on paper, United appear to have a highly-vaunted squad, there are still some concerns over their front line. Jadon Sancho has been conspicuous in nature, and he is yet to discover the form he produced last season.
Meanwhile, Anthony Martial has only shown in small glimpses what he can produce and he has been hindered by inconsistency. Whereas, Marcus Rashford is only just beginning to recapture the form we have come to expect of him.
Frankly, star quality is needed and Gakpo has that dynamism and energy that United need if they are going to contend for silverware, and perhaps make a title challenge next season.
PSV may be worried about Gakpo spreading his wings too soon, but United have an opportunity to push through a deal for the Dutchman, who could be just what they need. While there are still a few hurdles to be cleared, Gakpo could be a natural fit for United, and he could slot into Ten Hag’s system. Only time will tell as to what may happen.