Manchester United could decide to use Andreas Pereira to their advantage in order to pip Arsenal to the signing of Cody Gakpo, who has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest talents over the course of this season. The PSV winger has turned plenty of heads across the continent with his stunning form at club level after chipping in with 16 goals and 15 assists in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign.
Gakpo was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal in January and the Gunners are still believed to be keen on the idea of bringing him to north London in the summer transfer window. United have also been credited with an interest in the 22-year-old and have been tipped to land a new forward in order to replace Edinson Cavani ahead of next season.
It seems likely that Champions League qualification will play a major role in swinging the momentum one way or the other, with United and Arsenal set to battle it out for a top-four finish between now and the end of the campaign. However, the Red Devils may still be able to land Gakpo if they end up missing out on a place in Europe’s premier club competition by using Pereira as a bargaining chip.
The midfielder has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford in recent years and is spending the current season on loan at Flamengo, who have reportedly agreed a deal to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of the campaign. The Brazilian outfit do not have the resources to commit to the move at this time, though, meaning there is every chance that Pereira’s proposed switch could fall through over the coming weeks and months.
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This would give United an opportunity to include Pereira in a player-plus-cash offer in exchange for Gakpo, with PSV said to be weighing up a move for the Red Devils outcast ahead of the summer months. The Eredivisie heavyweights are one of several clubs with an interest in landing Pereira, who remains under contract at United until the summer of 2023 but will be allowed to leave if a suitable offer is tabled in the near future, according to The Guardian.
However, it remains to be seen whether the player himself would be keen on moving to the Netherlands in order to reignite his career with PSV. He spent time at the club as a teenager before joining United back in 2012 but is said to prefer the idea of a move to his wife’s homeland of Spain, where he has also spent time on loan at Granada between 2016 and 2017.
Pereira recently admitted that he would not be afraid to leave United in order to play regular football at another club if the opportunity presents itself in the near future. If he ultimately decides that a return to PSV would be in his best interests, it could prove to be the deciding factor in terms of United’s interest in Gakpo if the Red Devils are eventually tempted to rival Arsenal for his signature in advance of next season.
“In Manchester or elsewhere, the time has come to play, to have at least an hour per game on the field, to have the confidence to play,” said Pereira at the start of this season. “I want to be happy, to feel important. I’ve played everywhere on the field and I’ve always done my best.
“He [Solskjaer] has known me for many years and knows very well where I can do more. It’s up to him to give me the freedom to play in my position. I’m ready to play, I’m not a boy anymore. I’m a man ready to take responsibility.”
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