Leeds United are now battling Leicester City for the signature of PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo.
That’s according to a report from The Sunday Mirror (3 July, page 76, via MOT Leeds News).
Leeds are trying to sign Gakpo as a replacement for the seemingly exit-bound Raphinha.
The Brazilian is attracting interest from Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, and the Whites are expected to let him leave if they receive an offer north of £55m.
Gakpo may not be a like-for-like successor for the 25-year-old given that he predominantly plays on the left wing, but he does have some experience on the right flank that Raphinha has occupied for Leeds.
The Sunday Mirror journalist Tom Hopkinson wrote that Leicester have now ‘joined the race’ for Gakpo.
The £27m-rated Dutchman is said to be ‘holding out’ for a move to one of the Premier League‘s ‘big six’, but Brendan Rodgers hopes that he can convince him to join on the basis that he could play more football at the King Power Stadium.
Hopkinson also namechecked Leeds as an interested party, but they now face competition for the 23-year-old’s signature.
Leicester finished a full nine places above Leeds in last season’s Premier League and were only four points off qualifying for Europe. From that point of view, they may be a more attractive proposition for Gakpo.
However, other factors will come into the equation too, such as the salary on offer and the quality of the respective clubs’ pitches.
Leeds may be desperate to win the race for a player who was directly involved in 36 goals in all competitions last season, scoring 21 goals and setting up another 15. Those displays earned him the Dutch Footballer of the Year award for 2021/22.
For reference, that figure would have put a player third in last season’s Premier League, behind Kevin de Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold but above the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish and Andrew Robertson.
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