Real Madrid interest throws Leeds transfer into ‘doubt’ after being ‘close to an agreement’

Joe Williams
Leeds target Cody Gakpo waits to come on as substitute

Leeds United’s move to sign PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo has been thrown into doubt after his brilliant start to the season, according to reports.

The Yorkshire club brought in Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi, Wilfried Gnonto and Joel Robles during the summer transfer market.

However, one player Leeds failed to get over the line was Gakpo with fellow Premier League side Southampton also very keen towards the end of the window.

The Dutch club are understood to value their prized asset at around £37m but they weren’t willing to let him go on deadline day, which was when major interest came to a head.

PSV director John de Jong recently revealed that Leeds United director of football Victor Orta “flew in” to speak with Gakpo ahead of the deadline.

“Leeds United’s director flew in and talked to Cody,” De Jong told Voetbal International last month.

“We received and listened to Leeds, but in the end, no concrete offer was put on the table where we thought we should sell it now.

“I think everyone knows that a club has to make an outgoing transfer every year. That’s in the budget. So did we, but in the end, there was not such a good offer on the table that we really considered letting him go.”

And it seems Leeds have maintained their strong interest in the Netherlands international since the summer with The Athletic journalist David Ornstein providing an update.

Ornstein wrote:

‘Their pursuit of the 23-year-old continued beyond the deadline — dialogue shifting to a deal in the January market — and it is believed that in recent weeks the teams came close to an agreement.

‘There was a sense around the talks that Gakpo might warm to the idea having previously shown reluctance, but the forward’s superb form at club and international level is believed to have shifted his expectations and Leeds have been made aware that currently he is not in favour of the switch.’

Gakpo has scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists in all competitions already this season and has taken his tally to 35 goals and 28 assists in his last 84 Eredivisie appearnaces.

On teams that he could move to over Leeds in the next couple of transfer windows, Ornstein added:

‘Sources with knowledge of the situation have mentioned Real Madrid as a potential destination for Gakpo, while he was considered by Manchester United before they opted to acquire Antony from Ajax. Arsenal are among others who have also been linked with the PSV academy product.’

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