It seems the Cody Gakpo transfer saga, which involved Leeds and Manchester United in the summer, could result in a big change at PSV.
Gakpo was in great form last season and has continued to find the net during the new campaign. He has managed nine goals and six assists in 12 matches for PSV so far.
That includes a goal in the recent Europa League win over Bodo/Glimt. Gakpo captained PSV in that game too, despite being just 23 years of age.
Manchester United went after Gakpo once new boss Erik ten Hag told them he wanted a new winger to improve his attacking ranks.
The Red Devils agreed terms with the Dutchman’s agent. But they began to turn away from him when Ajax’s Antony became the top target.
And the 22-year-old ended up going to Old Trafford in an £86million deal on August 30.
Reports claimed United could land Gakpo in addition to Antony, but these rumours proved wide of the mark. United simply spent too much money to reunite Antony with Ten Hag and couldn’t afford to sign another expensive forward as a result.
Southampton had a late offer for Gakpo rejected by PSV, while Leeds also pursued him. According to The Athletic reporter Phil Hay, the wide man topped Leeds’ wish list late in the transfer window.
Whites director of football Victor Orta even travelled to the Netherlands to try and agree a deal. But he came back unsuccessful, and Leeds brought in Wilfried Gnonto to improve their striker options instead.
Gakpo ultimately remained in Eindhoven. He broke his silence on his failed transfer shortly after the English window shut.
Cody Gakpo talks Man Utd links
During an interview with PSV TV, the star said: “Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window. We were waiting for that a bit.
“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction.
“That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week, I thought I would go to Manchester United.
“In the last week I looked at all options. In the end PSV came up with a good offer and that turned out to be the right choice for me.”
Sport Witness, who cite reports coming out of Holland, provide a big update on PSV. They claim the Eredivisie side are ‘seriously considering’ sacking technical director John de Jong in the aftermath of the Gakpo saga.
The PSV hierarchy were desperate to keep their prized asset in the summer. While they know he will go at some point, they think another season at the Philips Stadium will help them achieve more success while also increasing Gakpo’s transfer value.
De Jong, in contrast, was happy to let go Gakpo go in order to raise funds and improve other positions. He also knew that the winger, who can also operate at centre-forward, was open to moving to the Premier League.
PSV plot technical director change
De Jong’s position is under threat as PSV officials feel another director would have dealt with the situation better.
Leeds and Man Utd could be keeping an eye on the situation. PSV changing one of their football chiefs might impact their transfer stance.
Should a new director arrive who doesn’t wish to sell Gakpo, then Leeds and Man Utd will probably have to pursue other attackers.
There could be an underlying issue at play here, which Sport Witness and the original reports don’t mention.
While Ajax managed to get a whopping £86m for Antony, Gakpo would have only cost Man Utd around £35m.
It could be argued Antony and Cody Gakpo are at a similar level. So clearly something is wrong with PSV’s negotiations in comparison with those at Ajax.
Perhaps this is the real reason PSV want to part ways with De Jong and land a new technical director.
Meanwhile, Divock Origi was labelled Serie A’s “worst signing of the season” after a report revealed what’s gone wrong, while another source claimed he could be pushed out by a Leeds Utd target in January.