Ruud van Nistelrooy says Man Utd transfer target Cody Gakpo will ‘make decisions’ on his future

The ex-Manchester United star has said there is interest in Gakpo from all over Europe.

Ruud van Nistelrooy has said Manchester United transfer target Cody Gakpo ‘will make decisions’ about his future ‘when the time comes’.

The PSV Eindhoven winger revealed in an interview with the Times this week that he was close to joining the Red Devils in the summer and claimed it was ‘a shame’ that a deal couldn’t be completed.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,” Gakpo said. “It ended about a week before the end of the transfer window and in that week I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton. In the end I stayed, but it was a stressful period.”

Gakpo has also been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City in recent months but speaking on Wednesday, ex-United forward Van Nistelrooy warned that England’s elite clubs might face competition from overseas for the 23-year-old’s signature.

"It’s not only Premier League clubs after him,” Van Nistelrooy admitted. “Of course, with the quality he is showing the form he is having over the last three or four months; it’s been exceptional.

Gakpo is a Dutch international and expected to go to the World Cup. Credit: Getty.

“His stats, his assists and goals that he’s been involved in, of course draw the attention of the best clubs in European football. The good thing about him, his age, he is only 23 years old, he is fully focusing on his career, becoming a better player, captaining PSV, giving the club the best he can.

“He is focusing on having a great World Cup, where he is also playing games for the [Netherlands] national team under [Louis] van Gaal. For him, he is in a fantastic moment and he wants to continue that. When the time comes he will make decisions."

The PSV manager was speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League clash with Arsenal on Thursday, a match that will see Van Nistelrooy renew acquaintances with his old Premier League rivals.

Van Nistelrooy will bring his PSV side to the Emirates on Thursday night. Credit: Getty.

The Dutchman played in some epic battle with Arsenal during his time at Old Trafford as a player, and infamously missed a late penalty against Arsene Wenger’s side in 2003 which sparked an on-field altercation and resulted in the famous ‘pizzagate’ confrontation after the game.

“It was 20 years ago and, in general, if I look back at my time in England, coming back to England and to London, to Arsenal, and memories come back of my time there and those two infamous games are famous in that period,” Van Nistelrooy said.

“That penalty miss, I expect a warm welcome tomorrow, I kept them invincible because of my miss,” he added, in reference to the 2003 Premier League encounter.