Arsenal are targeting PSV Eindhoven sta Cody Gakpo and the upcoming Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates Stadium could be seen as an ‘audition’ ahead of negotiations potentially being opened, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
The Gunners have made an impressive start to the season and currently sit top of the Premier League, but boss Mikel Arteta will be given the opportunity to welcome new signings to the capital in January.
What’s the latest news involving Gakpo?
According to The Athletic, Arsenal are among a number of clubs keeping tabs on Gakpo’s form and could pounce when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
The report suggests Real Madrid is another potential destination and Manchester United considered making a move during the summer, while the nine-cap Netherlands international is not interested in a move to Leeds United despite the Yorkshire side coming close to reaching an agreement with PSV in recent weeks.
It is understood that Gakpo’s current employers are seeking more than £38million, having also rejected a £21.4million bid from Southampton in August.
The winger has claimed that he was not open to rushing into a deadline day move after initially believing he would be sealing a switch to Manchester United.
Leeds have reportedly maintained their interest and made Gakpo their top January target, while Manchester United could head to the negotiating table after previously agreeing personal terms.
What has Dean Jones said about Gakpo?
Jones understands that Arsenal are keen to win the race and acquire Gakpo’s services in the winter transfer window.
The journalist feels PSV’s trip to north London for a Europa League group stage clash on October 20 could be pivotal in the Gunners’ pursuit.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “There’s no doubt that Arsenal do have an eye on him.
“You can sort of see that game as an audition. How does he handle that stage? How does he handle that moment? Does he convince Arsenal that they need to go after him and maybe even open talks on the back of it?”
How has Gakpo performed so far this season?
Gakpo has started the campaign in amazing form, having found the back of the net 13 times and registered a further 10 assists in 17 appearances.
Statistics show the 23-year-old has been PSV’s best performer in the Eredivisie, having averaged a match rating of 8.65.
Despite his threat in the attacking third of the pitch, the Dutch giants will reportedly have to sell Gakpo or Ibrahim Sangare before next summer due to their financial situation and that could play into the hands of Arsenal.