By Joe Ellis

19th Oct, 2022 | 7:40am

Leeds United one of two rejected destinations as Cody Gakpo reveals all

It is no secret that Leeds United were extremely keen on signing Cody Gakpo in the summer but he eventually stayed at PSV Eindhoven.

The 23-year-old’s transfer saga ran long into the summer window but the Whites, Manchester United and Southampton all missed out on what is now one of Europe’s most in-form players.

Gakpo already has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season and has also made it to double figures in assists too with 11 having started every game of the campaign.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,” Gakpo said to The Times about his potential summer move away from Eindhoven.

“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.”

Game-changer

Jesse Marsch and Victor Orta won’t have stopped their pursuit of Gakpo just because the transfer window is closed and you can guarantee that a move will be made once January rolls around.

But having seen his truly sensational start to the new season in the Eredivisie and Europa League, it is hard to think that Leeds United won’t be the only ones trying to sign him when the window opens.

But if Orta can work his magic once again and bring him to Elland Road, things will very quickly turn around on the pitch and those frustrating draws and defeats where chances aren’t taken won’t happen with the same regularity they do now.

Luis Sinisterra has been a very good addition but he pales in comparison to Gakpo who should be on the radar of the biggest clubs in Europe.

So to even have a chance as good as this to sign him shows just how far Leeds have come in recent years and the project that Marsch is trying to get off the ground.

In other Leeds United news, it could be difficult to drop this Elland Road stalwart after he passed a significant personal milestone against Arsenal.