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Manchester United earmark 23-year-old Portugal star as Cody Gakpo alternative

PSV Eindhoven and the Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo still 'keen' on move to Manchester United.
PSV Eindhoven and the Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo still 'keen' on move to Manchester United. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United earmark AC Milan’s Rafael Leao as Cody Gakpo alternative

Manchester United have a contingency plan in place in the form of AC Milan’s Rafael Leao if they fail to land long-term target Cody Gakpo.

The Netherlands international was linked with a move to the Red Devils this summer and even held talks with manager Erik ten Hag. But the deal never got anywhere.

Now, according to Daily Star (h/t the Express), they are still eyeing a move for the PSV Eindhoven striker. The Dutch club have placed a 50million Pound price tag on him and aren’t eager to sell him mid-season.

He is, after all, their main man up front. His nine goals and 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie games have kept his team in the running for the league title.

PSV are just three points behind league-leaders Feyenoord after 14 league games. Moreover, Gakpo’s contract only runs out in the summer of 2026 (Transfermarkt).

That, coupled with his performances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup where he has scored in three out of his team’s four games so far, could increase his stocks and the number of suitors. United have, as a result, eyed Leao as an alternative.

Manchester United will have to bid at least €100 million to land Rafael Leao from AC Milan.
Manchester United want AC Milan’s Rafael Leao. (Photo by ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)

There is no surety that the AC Milan winger is an easier transfer deal to chase. In fact, the 23-year-old Portugal international apparently has a release clause of 127million Pounds.

Leao is also a winger – a position we really don’t need to strengthen. We have enough of those already – that too of an age group where they will only get better with time.

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We should look for a centre-forward rather than compromising. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t a regular fixture in Ten Hag’s team but there is no question that a big void is left when a player of his calibre departs.

Written by Aniket Rai

An ordinary football fan, doing what he loves.

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