Sunday, January 29, 2023

Gakpo, Depay & Pulisic: The Three World Cup stars who are reportedly on Manchester United’s radar ahead of January

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While it might be this year’s World Cup that has rightfully stolen all of the headlines over recent weeks, Manchester United have been dealing with a real rollercoaster behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

Watching now-former attacking talisman Cristiano Ronaldo release a jaw-dropping interview earlier in the month where he criticised both the club and Erik ten Hag, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has since left Manchester for a second time.

Likewise, with it confirmed last week that the Glazer family are finally actively looking to sell the Premier League giants, United find themselves in what is a crucial period.

Marking their return to action on Boxing Day with their sights set on trying to clinch a much-needed Champions League return, many are expecting what could be a lively January transfer market for ten Hag’s side.

With a host of scouts out in Qatar and keeping a watchful eye on this year’s World Cup, we have taken a look at three stars who have been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Cody Gakpo – PSV

Spearheading a Dutch side who find themselves on the verge of punching their knockout stage ticket, Cody Gakpo has only continued to gain a string of admirers after a pair of eye-catching displays in Qatar.

Now bagging back-to-back World Cup strikes and receiving plenty of praise, the 23-year-old has a host of fans at Old Trafford and it has been heavily suggested that United are inching towards a deal for the PSV star.

Linked with a potential Premier League switch over the summer after both Leeds and Southampton attempted their own Deadline Day swoops, Gakpo is enjoying a record-breaking start to the 2022/23 campaign.

In fact, along with playing a crucial role as PSV extended on their Europa League adventure last month, Gakpo has now notched 15 strikes for club and country so far this season.

Quickly becoming one of Europe’s most sort after young talents, The Sun reported on Sunday that PSV’s homegrown talisman only has his sights set on clinching a move to Old Trafford.

Memphis Depay – Barcelona

While Gakpo might be the Dutch talisman who is spearheading his country’s World Cup charge in Qatar, the 23-year-old is not the only Holland attacker who is on Manchester United’s radar.

Although Memphis Depay might still be trying to find full-match fitness after dealing with an extended hamstring injury, the Barcelona forward has been linked with a shock return to Old Trafford come January.

With United finally completing their messy divorce with Ronaldo, it is no secret that ten Hag’s side are on the lookout for a new attacking option when the window reopens.

While Depay might have endured a troubled two-year spell with the Premier League giants between 2015-2017, Sky Germany suggested over the weekend that the ex-Lyon man has already held talks with United’s hierarchy over a potential return.

Almost heading out of Catalonia over the summer and with Barcelona making it clear they’re keen on getting Depay’s wages off of their books, ten Hag’s side are confident that they can complete a free deal in January.

Christian Pulisic – Chelsea

Catching the eye as the USA played out a deserved 0-0 stalemate against England over the weekend, Christian Pulisic has enjoyed an impressive start to the World Cup’s first winter tournament.

While there might have been some concerns over the 24-year-old’s fitness, the Chelsea ace appears to be thriving on the international stage and his recent displays have not gone unnoticed.

However, failing to really cement his plans in Graham Potter’s plans since the ex-Brighton boss arrived at Stamford Bridge back in September, it has been suggested that Pulisic is keen on securing a move away from the capital.

With just 18 months left on his current deal in west London and no signs of an extension being agreed between the two parties, The Daily Mail reported on Saturday that United are keeping tabs on the situation.

Linked with what was a shock move for the USA poster boy over the summer, United’s hierarchy feel that a bid in the region of £35million could tempt their Premier League rivals.


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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