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Five players Manchester United could sign instead of Gakpo with PSV star set to join Liverpool

Ryan Smart

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| Last updated 

Five players Manchester United could sign instead of Gakpo with PSV star set to join Liverpool

Liverpool agreed a deal to sign PSV star Cody Gakpo on Monday evening, in news that took world football by surprise.

Gakpo had been linked with a move to the Reds for several months, but it was Manchester United who, for so long, appeared frontrunners to secure his services in January.

As recently as Monday morning, there were reports by Fabrizio Romano that the 23-year-old was still keen on signing for United, and that PSV wanted to sell the player early in January.

As it happened, however, it was Liverpool that swooped first, and they swiftly agreed terms with Gakpo. He has been given permission by PSV to travel to England to undergo a medical.

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The news came as a huge blow for United fans, who were anticipating that the Netherlands star, who scored three goals at the World Cup, would be joining them.

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Their disappointment increased further when CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs claimed Gakpo was a priority signing for manager Erik ten Hag, but the club never placed a formal bid.

Here are five alternatives Ten Hag could now turn to.

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Memphis Depay (Barcelona)

Memphis Depay looks to be on his way out of Barcelona in January. Spanish outlet Marca claim that Barca are keen to sell the forward, but Depay would prefer to leave on a free transfer in the summer.

Sport, meanwhile, reported earlier this month that a fee of £1.7 million would be enough to convince the Spanish giants to sell.

Any move to United would represent a second stint at the club for the 28-year-old Netherlands international, who initially left Old Trafford in 2017.

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Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)

Goncalo Ramos caused major headlines during the World Cup when he was chosen to replace Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal's last 16 tie against Switzerland. He then went on to score a superb hat-trick.

Italian outlet Calciomercato claim that Ten Hag has made the 21-year-old, who plays for Benfica, his priority forward in January.

With 15 goals in 22 club appearances in all competitions this term, Ramos could certainly hit the ground running at Old Trafford.

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Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

Alternatively, Ten Hag could look to complete a deal for Ramos' compatriot, Joao Felix, instead.

The 23-year-old's future at Atletico Madrid is in doubt, and the Daily Record claim the Spanish club will allow him to leave on loan in January, for an £8m loan fee plus his full salary paid.

A proven world-class forward and attacking midfielder, Felix would slot seamlessly into United's XI and perhaps fill the role of Cristiano Ronaldo, who exited Old Trafford last month.

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Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)

United were briefly linked with Moussa Diaby last month, during the early stages of the World Cup.

The Bayer Leverkusen winger netted 13 goals and provided 12 assists in 32 league appearances last term, and already has nine goal contributions to his name this season.

But, following Arsenal's interest in the player in the summer, a report from French outlet ButFootballClub claimed they would have to pay €70 million to sign Diaby. It may be that United deem that fee too high, given that Gakpo is set to Liverpool for around €45m.

Rafael Leao (AC Milan)

AC Milan star Rafael Leao is another Portugal player who has been linked with United - but this deal seems less likely than the others.

United would reportedly have to pay around €100 million to sign the forward, which may not be possible given the major outlays on Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Antony this season.

In addition, Leao said in an interview with RDP Africa (via Manchester Evening News) that he is '100 per cent committed' to AC Milan, with his contract expiring in 2024.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Liverpool, Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay, Joao Felix, Premier League, Erik Ten Hag, Transfers

Ryan Smart
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