The mirror has reported that Manchester Unitedhave shortlisted AC Milan winger Rafael Leao as a potential option if they fail to sign PSV winger Cody Gakpo next month.
The Red Devils were linked with a move for Gakpo last summer but they opted to sign Antony from Ajax instead. However, United’s remain interested in Gakpo and his impressive displays at the ongoing FIFA World Cup have only intensified the links surrounding his potential move to Manchester United.
The competition for the Dutchman’s signature is intense, however, with several clubs keeping tabs on him. Premier League rivals Arsenal have also emerged as strong contenders to sign Gakpo, with their striker Gabriel Jesus said to be ruled out for three months.
According to the Mirror, Gakpo was valued at £25 million in the summer but his three goals in the World Cup have seen his value double to £50 million.
There is a strong chance that United may miss out on signing Gakpo and therefore, the club has identified Leao as a potential target, as per the newspaper. The Portuguese winger has been in fine form this season, scoring seven times and assisting on nine occasions in his 20 appearances for Milan this season.
Chelsea are also in the race to sign Leao with journalist Carlo Garnaghese reporting that the Blues are ‘still in touch‘ with AC Milan over a potential deal for the 23-year-old. Reports from Italy (via Sportwitness) have claimed Leao’s market value to be set at a mammoth £87 million despite only 18 months remaining in his current deal.
With Cristiano Ronaldo no longer at the club, Erik ten Hag is now in proven need of an attacker. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Dutch tactician is eyeing the likes of Gakpo and Leao.
United need goals and Gakpo would be the best possible transfer for them, taking into account his price tag and ability to play anywhere across the frontline. However, with the competition for his signature being immense, it does make sense for the Manchester side to look at other options as well.
Leao is no doubt an explosive, modern-day attacker who could flourish in ten Hag’s system. His price tag, however, will make it difficult for the club to agree on a deal with AC Milan.