Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures
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Manchester United agreed personal terms for Cody Gakpo back in the summer transfer window before his move to Liverpool was wrapped up, according to reports. The Netherlands international will be heading to Anfield in a £37million transfer, with the deal one nobody saw coming. And it’s the second time the Red Devils have missed out on a target to Jurgen Klopp’s side in the space of a few months, with Darwin Nunez previously choosing the Reds over Erik ten Hag’s team.
It emerged on Monday night that Liverpool would be winning the race for Gakpo, having agreed a fee with PSV Eindhoven.
And many feel it is a blow for United, despite their claims they weren’t willing to challenge their Premier League rivals for the forward’s signature.
According to The Athletic, United did agree personal terms with Gakpo back in the summer ahead of a potential move to Old Trafford.
However, they ended up putting their pursuit of the Netherlands international on ice with Antony arriving instead.
The Brazil international made a positive start to life in Manchester, scoring in matches against Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton.
But his form has waned in the time since, with the Samba star now on a run of no goals or assists from his last 11 outings for club and country.
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Antony was flat as United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 on Tuesday night, with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred all producing the goods.
And it’ll be interesting to see if Ten Hag is made to regret his decision to reunite with the Brazil international once the season comes to an end.
The report also adds that, again in the summer, United held talks regarding a possible return for Memphis Depay.
The Netherlands international previously joined the Red Devils back in the summer transfer window of 2015, when Louis van Gaal was manager.
Depay was touted as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne, having impressed for PSV in his final season in his homeland.
But he failed to make the grade before being shipped to Lyon by Jose Mourinho back in the January transfer window of 2017.
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Depay may be allowed to leave Barcelona, with the La Liga giants still looking to balance their finances as they plan for a brighter future.
Yet whether United approach the 28-year-old over a return remains to be seen, with other players being linked as well.
Alvaro Morata was a player of interest back in the summer but, now, is playing regularly at Atletico Madrid – meaning it’s hard to imagine him returning.
And it’s claimed United will struggle to raid Premier League rivals for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ivan Toney, too.
Mitrovic has a contract at Fulham that runs until 2026 and there’s no chance the Cottagers will let him go out on loan given his fine form this season.
And with Toney allegedly breaching betting rules, the Brentford striker doesn’t appear poised for a move this winter.
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Regarding Gakpo, meanwhile, Liverpool hero John Aldridge is backing him to be a hit at Anfield.
“Cody Gakpo would be an ideal signing for the way Liverpool play,” he stated.
“He can play across the front three, on the right and on the left.
“He can also play down the middle, and that’s exactly what Jurgen likes from a player. He likes options and players who can move around a little bit, and he’s certainly one of them.
“Nunez can play on the left and has done a really good job. Salah can as well and so can Diogo Jota.
“So Liverpool have more than enough options when they are all fit and available, with Roberto Firmino there, as well. Luis Diaz is a left winger, anyway.
“I think Liverpool are a little bit desperate because Firmino has been injured in the past, and Diaz and Jota are out for the foreseeable future. They’re not going to come back fit and firing straight away, it will take a bit of time.
“So Liverpool need to have people who can score goals. We need goals now to get the club in the top four and stay in the remaining cup competitions.
“Gakpo is a very clever player from what I’ve read about him. He’s very astute and really disciplined and he wants more from himself.
“I think the key factor would have been Virgil van Dijk. Klopp would more than likely have asked what he’s like as a person, and he seems really disciplined.”
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