Manchester United have been linked with the Netherlands’ World Cup sensation Cody Gakpo for some time now, with a deal looking more likely after the ace said “anything is possible” in a recent interview regarding his future at current club PSV Eindhoven.
Gakpo has confirmed, via the Athletic, that his immediate priority is the World Cup, and that he is avoiding speculation over his future.
He said: “I don’t get shy about the rumours. But it’s a team sport, it’s not about one person. I prefer it to be about the team. It’s nice things that people write, but I’m not too concerned with that.
“Right now I’m busy with the Dutch team. I’ll see what happens in the winter. In football, anything is possible.”
The prolific winger previously confirmed to the Times that he had held discussions with United this summer, with the Manchester outfit opting to pursue a deal for Brazilian winger Antony instead.
With recent reports also stating United boss Erik ten Hag is interested in a temporary move for Chelsea and USMNT winger Christian Pulisic, the United board will be engaged in fervent discussion over the best option following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, who mutually agreed to terminate his deal with the club following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
Both players are impressing for their countries on the global stage. Gakpo has netted in every fixture so far while Pulisic won the man of the match during USA’s deserved draw against England before scoring in Iran to seal their place in the knock-out stages.
However, it is the former who would be the superior option as United’s boss looks to rebuild.
For PSV this term, Gakpo has been nothing short of exceptional, scoring 13 goals and clinching 17 assists in just 24 appearances across all competitions.
The 24-year-old Pulisic, in retrospect, holds just one solitary goal and two assists across 18 matches for Chelsea this term, albeit in a tougher league and with a role teetering closer to the periphery.
In the World Cup alone, Sofascore hands the 23-year-old Gakpo a rating of 7.5 after three matches, having indeed netted in all of those games.
His 1.7 key passes and 100% dribble success rate also further strengthens the claim that he would fit right into the United project, bringing an abundance of footballing quality to go in tandem with his knack for direct contributions.
Pulisic, meanwhile, still boasts an impressive 7.3 rating, and has provided an equal number of 1.7 key passes. Unfortunately, he’s missed one big chance whilst only completing 43% of his dribbles.
Whilst a loan move for “Captain America” might appeal from a financial standpoint, with Gakpo attracting a £34m fee, such a swoop might indeed be worthwhile, with United securing a prolific “sensation” – in the words of Tom Alnutt – for years to come, filling the void left by Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure.
Ultimately, for a club of the Red Devils’ stature and presence on the major stage, securing the best, most touted talent is simply imperative, and those mulling over the forthcoming transfer decisions will likely move for the player who will bring trophies back to the red side of Manchester; Gakpo fits that bill and then some.