Man Utd set to use Antony and Martinez tactic in Gakpo transfer bid

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Manchester United are set to try and haggle when it comes to signing Cody Gakpo, just like they did with Lisandro Martinez and Antony back in the summer. The Red Devils are hopeful of landing the PSV Eindhoven star as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford last month. And it’ll be interesting to see what unfolds, with Erik ten Hag aware his side need reinforcements up top if they’re to bring the glory days back to the club.

Manchester United opted to terminate Ronaldo’s contract last month shortly after the 37-year-old had taken aim at the club, Erik ten Hag and the Glazers in a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

And while the Red Devils have been linked with Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Memphis Depay, of Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Barcelona respectively, Gakpo appears to be their preferred target.

The Netherlands international has been in fine form at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring three goals from four matches to propel his side into the last eight of the competition.

And United, despite choosing Antony over Gakpo back in the summer transfer window, are poised to hold talks over a deal for the 23-year-old in the coming days.

According to the Daily Mail, though, the Red Devils don’t want to match PSV Eindhoven’s asking price of £50million.

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Instead, United are aiming to haggle and bring the forward’s price tag to nearer the £40m mark – an amount they’re happy to cough up.

And it seems as though the Red Devils are poised to use the same tactics they used on the deals for Antony and Martinez back in the summer, when they negotiated with Ajax.

United submitted lower bids for the pair than Ajax would have liked, resulting in their respective transfer sagas becoming rather prolonged and protracted as a result.

However, in the end, Ajax got the money they wanted.

The Red Devils eventually forked out £47million on Martinez, with the Argentina international since proceeding to enjoy a positive start to life at Old Trafford.

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And United, after sanctioning an £86m deal for Antony that made him their second most-expensive signing of all time, have been rewarded with three goals from the Brazil international.

Should Gakpo join in the New Year, United will be hoping he fares better than some of the players they’ve recruited in January in previous years.

Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra were both hits upon moving in 2006, when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.

Bruno Fernandes, too, can be classified as a success even without trophies following his arrival from Sporting Lisbon nearly three years ago.

But United have landed some duds, too, with Alexis Sanchez arguably the biggest one of them all.

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The Chile international was seen as a Ronaldo heir when he touched down from Arsenal back in the January transfer window of 2018.

Yet he ended up netting just five times before being offloaded to Inter Milan by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was stunned by the forward’s rapid decline.

Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, meanwhile, recently suggested United should use Donny van de Beek in a swap deal to acquire Gakpo this winter.

“We’re talking about two very good players and I believe it could be a great deal for both parties. It would make perfect sense,” he told Boyle Sports.

“Gakpo is a dynamic attacker and direct – just what United need – and for one reason or another Van de Beek just hasn’t been suited to England and the Premier League.

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“Erik ten Hag knows all of these players and if he thinks a swap deal is a good idea then why not?”

Gakpo himself has opened the door to a potential move to United, saying in Qatar: “That was a tough period. I learned from that. I’m going to do it differently. What comes, that comes.

“Suppose you want to go from RKC (Waalwijk) to PSV, but that club is not coming. Then you can panic.

“I thought about Manchester United, but when that didn’t happen, I couldn’t remember. And I started to doubt. Leeds United did come. Should I go there?

“Now I wait for everything. I haven’t heard from Manchester United yet. When they come, I’ll think about it. I also seek the help of God in these decisions.”

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