Arsenal dealt blow as striker told to ‘follow Ruud van Nistelrooy’s lead’ and delay move | Football | Sport


Arsenal might not be able to lure Cody Gakpo away from PSV Eindhoven this summer after the youngster was urged to follow in the footsteps of his soon-to-be manager. Ruud van Nistelrooy is poised to take over from Roger Schmidt as PSV manager in the summer and the former Manchester United striker’s career path is being held up as one Gakpo should follow.

Gakpo has caught the eye of several European giants by returning 18 goals and 15 assists from his 43 appearances across all competitions for PSV this season. The 22-year-old forward has been watched by scouts from Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, among others, and is expected to attract bids in the summer transfer window.

The versatile attacker, who tends to play on the left, was heavily linked with a move in January before eventually signing a new one-year extension until 2026 with PSV. The Athletic reported last month that, although his new contract does not have a release clause, PSV will cooperate if he wants to leave and suitable offers arrive this summer.

PSV are understood to value the young star at in excess of £35million and the amount of interest means Gakpo could go for a lot more, if a bidding race ensues. Nevertheless, Dutch newspaper Voetbal International reported in March that Arsenal were the favourites for Gakpo’s signature.

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The prolific goal scorer stayed in the Eredivisie until he was 24 before making the move to England in the form of a £18.5m transfer to Manchester United in 2001. That transfer, which was a club-record for United at the time, came after a 31-goal season for PSV.

Van Nistelrooy will surely want to keep hold of Gakpo for what will be his first season in senior management. The 45-year-old, who has signed a contract until June 2025 with the Dutch side, looks likely to take charge of a side which has lost out to Ajax in the Eredivisie title race. PSV are currently second, four points behind Erik ten Hag’s side, with four matches remaining.

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