Erik ten Hag still pushing Man Utd to sign Cody Gakpo following World Cup performances

Cody Gakpo is convincing Man Utd of his worth
Cody Gakpo is convincing Man Utd of his worth / Julian Finney/GettyImages
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Cody Gakpo's performances at the World Cup has helped convince Manchester United's hierarchy that he is ready for a transfer to the Premier League, 90min understands.

The Netherlands international has scored three times in three group stage matches in the competition in Qatar, and has been one of the standout players of the tournament to date - his goals helping the Netherlands qualify for the last 16 and into a clash with the United States this weekend.

Gakpo was wanted by Erik ten Hag in the summer transfer window, though United stopped short of doing the deal after spending big money on the likes of Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Antony.

Ten Hag is still pushing United to make the signing - especially following the mutual termination of Cristiano Ronaldo's contract - and had hoped Gakpo could make an impression on the World Cup for the club's decision makers to further back his judgement on another potential arrival. It's understood United have loved what they've seen from the PSV Eindhoven forward so far.

After Ronaldo's departure, United are lighter in the attacking department than they were at the start of the season, and they already had difficulties in the area anyway given Anthony Martial's struggles with injury. Gakpo is a versatile forward who can slot in to several positions - a quality which appeals to Ten Hag.

One issue for United is they stand to pay €10m-€15m more than they could have done in the summer for the 23-year-old given his exploits so far this season, though they are understood to be proceeding as usual in the transfer market even in spite of the club being up for sale. United are still aiming to qualify for the Champions League and Ten Hag will need stronger options to do so - especially after Ronaldo's departure.

90min revealed earlier this month that PSV are ready to let their star man depart the Philips Stadion in January. Having missed out on Champions League group stages at the start of the campaign, they're unlikely to be able to resist a big money offer.

Gakpo was courted by the likes of Leeds and Southampton in the summer as well as United, though turned down the opportunities to move after the United option failed to materialise. Ten Hag is pushing United to complete the deal this time around.

The player revealed to The Times last month that he had already spoken to Ten Hag about potentially moving to Old Trafford, saying: “I was close to leaving. I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United.

“In the end, the deal didn’t go through, which was a shame for me and my development. Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But also [a shame] for PSV because to transfer a player to Manchester United is a good thing for the club.

“[In the final week of the window] I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton. In the end, I stayed. But it was a stressful period.”

Gakpo has been on fire in the Dutch Eredivisie for PSV so far this season, firing nine goals and 12 assists in 14 league matches so far.

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