By George Overhill

17th Sep, 2022 | 11:40am

Leeds United may be “obsessed” by PSV attacker Cody Gakpo according to Fabrizio Romano but their plans to sign him appear to have been shattered.

The Dutch side’s technical director John de Jong was “directed to a cold farewell” on Friday night (16 September) according to Rik Elfrink in ED.

There had been suggestions leading up to the sacking that de Jong’s future was in doubt due to his willingness to part with Gakpo before the close of the transfer window and that has now ruthlessly come to pass.

Whites chairman Andrea Radrizzani had publicly stated on his personal Twitter account on transfer deadline day that, despite the late failure to land the Dutch winger, the club would continue to work on a deal.

The rest of 1 September descended into a farce, much to the embarrassment of the Italian, as the man he thought he had secured in the same message, Bamba Dieng, pulled out at the last minute and all other attacking pursuits failed before the 11th-hour deal to bring in Willy Gnonto.

Immediately it became widely known that United were saying they intended to go back in for Gakpo in January, despite his excellent form and competition from the likes of Manchester United making it an uphill battle.

But with de Jong removed from his position nominally for being ready to sell the 23-year-old this summer it would appear that the ship has now officially sailed.

Even if the Eindhoven club are still prepared to countenance the player’s departure despite what look like very clear signals that they don’t want to, the Whites are back to square one in the negotiating procedure.

The transfer window closed at the start of the month but it looks like the window for Leeds to take advantage of internal disagreements at the Philips Stadion has also now closed with de Jon’s dismissal.

In other Leeds United news, three new contracts are on the cards at Elland Road for vital first-team assets.