Cody Gakpo wanted Leeds United deadline day move - Phil Hay
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has revealed that PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo wanted to move the Premier League and that Leeds United was his preferred destination.
According to Dutch journalist Marco Timmer (1 September), Leeds tabled a £38.9million club-record offer for the 23-year-old winger.
However, it’s understood the Eredivisie side decided to keep hold of Gakpo with the intention of offering him an improved deal to stay in the Netherlands.
Although it has been suggested by Dutch journalist Rik Elfrink (via Twitter, 1 September) that Leeds have intentions of going back in for Gakpo in the January window.
Hay has since revealed that a move to Elland Road was Gakpo’s preference with Southampton also showing an interest.
Talking on the latest edition of the Phil Hay Show [06m02s, 2 September], he said: “Leeds, from what I’m told went above Southampton’s valuation.
“They had killed the competition and got the deal done which meant that Gakpo could be on the plane the following morning.
“From what I’m told as well they were confident and optimistic that it was their offer that Gakpo wanted to accept.
“If he was coming to the Premier League, it was Elland Road that he wanted to move to.”
Gakpo is an incredible talent but it’s still hard to understand why PSV didn’t sanction his exit after Leeds submitted a club-record bid for the Dutch international.
If he doesn’t sign a new deal, then his value will likely be the same come January when Leeds are expected to come back in with another bid for Gakpo.
The Yorkshire side have been chasing the PSV winger all summer and it appeared their pursuit had finally made some progress on deadline day as Victor Orta flew out to Holland to finalise a deal.
The club’s ambition cannot be questioned in their move for Gakpo with the Eredivisie side just reluctant to sell the winger, rather than his valuation not being met.
If Leeds can bring the versatile attacker to the club in the future then they could have themselves a long-term replacement for Raphinha.
However, on deadline day, a striker was always a priority and Jesse Marsch got his wish with Wilfried Gnonto securing a last-minute move to Elland Road.
Obviously, fans would’ve liked a marquee signing to come through the door but on the whole, it’s been a successful summer.
When the January window comes around, a left-back has got to be the club’s first priority.
In other Leeds United news, Whites player seals exit on August 31 as a European club wins the hotly-contested race for his services.