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Leeds: Victor Orta dealt setback in Cody Gakpo pursuit

Leeds United have been dealt a setback in their bid to bring Cody Gakpo to Elland Road this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by French media outlet Foot Mercato, who claim that despite Victor Orta being heavily linked with a move for the PSV Eindhoven winger in recent weeks, it is Nottingham Forest who now appear to be leading the race for the 23-year-old’s signature, with Steve Cooper’s side believed to have submitted a bid for the Netherlands international.

The report goes on to reaffirm Leeds, Arsenal and Manchester United’s interest in a move for the forward this summer, with an earlier report by the same publication suggesting that PSV would only be willing to listen to offers above €30m (£25m) for the Dutchman.

Orta must move

Considering just how exciting a prospect Gakpo undoubtedly is, in addition to it being recently reported that Orta is targeting the signing of a further winger prior to September’s transfer deadline, Nottingham Forest’s move for the PSV starlet simply must lead the Whites’ director of football into launching his own bid for the 23-year-old.

Indeed, over his 27 Eredivisie appearances last season, the £27m-rated attacker was in breathtaking form, scoring 12 goals, providing 13 assists and creating 11 big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 3.0 shots, making 2.6 key passes and completing 2.9 dribbles per game.

These metrics saw the £7.4k-per-week talent average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.51, not only ranking him as his club’s best performer in the league but also as the fourth-best player in the division as a whole.

In comparison, over Raphinha’s 35 Premier League fixtures for Leeds in 2021/22, the Brazilian winger scored 11 goals, registered three assists and created seven big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.5 shots, making 1.9 key passes and completing 1.8 dribbles per fixture.

These returns saw the 25-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.97, ranking him as Jesse Marsch’s third-best performer in the top flight of English football last time out.

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As such, while there is no question that the Premier League is a much more challenging division than the Eredivisie, considering the clear similarities between Gakpo and Raphinha’s respective returns in their domestic leagues last season, it is clear to see just how well the seven-cap international would help to replace the loss of Raphinha’s talent in the final third.

So, with Forest now looking to be in talks with PSV over a deal for the 23-year-old, Orta simply must launch his own move for the winger in the next few days, or else the Spaniard risks missing out on the signing of a player who could well prove to become the Whites’ next Raphinha-esque addition.