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Leeds: Fabrizio Romano drops Cody Gakpo update

Leeds United remain interested in a move to bring Cody Gakpo to Elland Road in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, with the Italian journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that, after failing with a late deadline day offer for the PSV Eindhoven forward – believed to have exceeded £34m – Victor Orta has now made the 23-year-old his primary target for the winter market – which opens in a little under four months’ time.

In his tweet, the transfer insider said: “Leeds are planning to push again for Cody Gakpo in January, after crazy change on deadline day. He’s the main target… but there will be a lot of competition.”

In a further video posted on his YouTube channel, Romano went on to shed more light on the Whites’ failed move for the Netherlands international, revealing that a Louis van Gaal phone call was the main reason the deal fell through in the final stages of the summer transfer window.

He said: “On [August] 31, around lunchtime – one day before the end of the market – Southampton submitted a proposal for Cody Gakpo. PSV never accepted, they were still in negotiations. And, during the negotiations between Southampton and PSV, Leeds made – during the last night of the transfer window – a really important bid.

“It was accepted by PSV, they were prepared to say yes. It was also ready to be accepted on the player’s side – Cody Gakpo agreed personal terms with Leeds. But, during the night, Louis van Gaal – the manager of the Dutch national team – called [Gakpo] and told the player that the best opportunity was to stay at PSV until the World Cup, and then make his move in January.

“Cody Gakpo decided to stay at PSV, and PSV were more than happy to – in the end – reject the proposal because of the player’s ideas, but this Van Gaal call was really important for Cody Gakpo – this is how the deal collapsed. So, Cody Gakpo was really one step away from joining Leeds.

“Cody Gakpo is one to watch because I’m told that Leeds, in January, will try again for Gakpo. Leeds are obsessed with Cody Gakpo, the manager, the president and the director. So, they will be back for Gakpo in January.”

Big coup

While missing out on Gakpo’s signing so late on in the market will have undoubtedly come as a gutting blow to Orta, considering just how talented a forward the 23-year-old evidently is, coupled with the sheer amount of top six clubs reported to have been interested in the Dutchman this summer, a January deal for the attacker would certainly represent a big coup for the Whites.

Indeed, all of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United were – at one stage of the summer window – linked with the £27m-rated talent, and considering his form for PSV so far this season, it is not difficult to understand why.

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Over just five Eredivisie appearances in PSV’s 2022/23 campaign, the £4k-per-week sensation has already bagged six goals, registered three assists and created six big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 4.4 shots – 2.8 of which hit the target – making 2.8 key passes and completing 1.2 dribbles per game – proving how effective the forward is in the final third.

These returns have seen the attacker – who is able to operate from both central and attacking midfield, as well as on the left wing and as a centre-forward – average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 8.64, not only ranking him as Ruud van Nistelrooy’s best performer in the league but also as the best player in the Dutch top flight as a whole.

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As such, considering the injuries sustained by Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt and Rodrigo already this season, it is evident that, should Jesse Marsch wish to continue his side’s impressive start to the Premier League campaign over the duration of the season, greater firepower will be required in his attacking arsenal.

And, while it is true that the Whites did add 18-year-old striker Wilfried Gnonto to their attacking options on deadline day, with Gakpo very much looking to be one of the most established and hottest properties in Dutch football at present, should Leeds be able to capture the seven-cap international ahead of the chasing pack in January, it would quite clearly be a big coup for the Elland Road outfit.

Article title: Leeds: Fabrizio Romano drops Cody Gakpo update

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