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Manchester United lining up January move for Cody Gakpo as Cristiano Ronaldo replacement?

Manchester United lining up January move for Cody Gakpo as Cristiano Ronaldo replacement?

Manchester United will reportedly consider replacing Cristiano Ronaldo with PSV Eindhoven attacker Cody Gakpo in the January transfer window.

Ronaldo, 37, is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford following his scathing interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV last week, in which he has heavily criticised Man United, manager Erik ten Hag, several board members and former players.

The Red Devils announced last weekend that they have initiated “appropriate steps” following Ronaldo’s interview and they are allegedly exploring the possibility of sacking the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Whether Ronaldo is sacked or sold by United, Ten Hag will be keen to bring in a replacement during the winter window.

One player who was strongly linked with a potential switch to Old Trafford last summer was 23-year-old Dutch attacker Gakpo, who has elevated his game to new heights in recent years at PSV.

Cody Gakpo celebrates scoring for PSV on October 6, 2022© Reuters

Gakpo has made an electric start to the 2022-23 campaign, recording 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 appearances for PSV across all competitions, including 21 goals contributions in just 14 Eredivisie matches.

United opted against recruiting Gakpo towards the end of the summer window and instead splashed around £85m on Ajax attacker Antony.

However, 90min reports that the Red Devils could reignite their interest in Gakpo – who has the same agent as Ten Hag – in January as they seek to replace Ronaldo.

It is thought, however, that United could face competition from the likes of Arsenal and Leeds United for Gakpo’s signature.

Gakpo is under contract at PSV until the summer of 2026, but a recent report claims that the Dutch outfit are reluctantly willing to sell the attacker for as little as €30m (£25.7m) in January.

Cody Gakpo celebrates scoring for Netherlands against Senegal at the World Cup on November 21, 2022.© Reuters

Gakpo revealed last month that he spoke to Ten Hag “a few times” about a possible switch to Old Trafford, but a deal ultimately failed to materialise.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,” Gakpo told The Times. “In the end the deal didn’t go through, which was a shame, for me and my development, and because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also for PSV, because to transfer a player to Manchester United is a good thing for the club.

“It ended about a week before the end of the transfer window and in that week I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton. In the end I stayed, but it was a stressful period.

“I always said if I stay here, it’s my childhood club. It’s not a punishment. I like being here, I want to win trophies here and do my best for the club.

“But if I got the chance to go to the Premier League or something, of course I would have to consider that option. At that time it was hectic for me but I recovered pretty quickly.”

Gakpo scored a crucial goal in the Netherlands’ 2-0 victory against Senegal in their opening Group A fixture at the 2022 World Cup on Monday.

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