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Report: Erik Ten Hag has told £55m striker that he could be perfect Ronaldo replacement, could get number ‘7’ shirt

Erik ten Hag is reported to have held talks behind the scenes with PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo, attempting to persuade him to sign for Manchester United.

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Ten Hag and Gakpo are represented by the same agency, and this is expected to smooth the path for a potential deal.

The Mirror reports: “Ten Hag has told Gakpo he sees him as the perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo – and he could even take over the No.7 shirt.”

However, the outlet reports there is serious competition from Real Madrid and other Premier League clubs.

Ten Hag talks with Gakpo

Rival bids risk pushing Cody Gakpo’s price tag up, far above the £34 million The Telegraph reported United were expecting to pay in the summer.

But this was the gamble United took when they deferred on a deal, and Gakpo has since pushed his value up with his peformances.

A new report from The Telegraph state United hope to get a deal done for £43 million – but Fabrizio Romano reports the price could hit £55 million.

Gakpo has been prolific for PSV Eindhoven, scoring nine goals in 14 Eredivisie games, plus providing a further 12 assists.

He scored three goals at the World Cup for the Netherlands, further alerting the world of football to his talents.

Now entering the transfer window, United’s need for a goalscorer is heightened by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

If Erik ten Hag is convinced Gakpo is the right man to fill the void, the club should back him to the hilt. His signings have been successful so far, and the manager knows the PSV star well from his time in his homeland.

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