Arsenal transfer target Cody Gakpo's touching moment with PSV fans speaks volumes
Arsenal transfer target Cody Gakpo has heightened speculation he could be on the move this summer after appearing to say goodbye to PSV Eindhoven fans on Wednesday night.
Gakpo started as PSV picked up a 3-2 win against NEC Nijmegen in their final home game of the season. The 23-year-old has been strongly linked with a summer transfer, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich all reportedly keeping an eye on his development.
Gakpo has starred for PSV this season, contributing 21 goals and 13 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions. 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 above £35million arrive this summer.
That possibility was lended weight by Gakpo’s behaviour following the final whistle on Wednesday. Ajax’s 5-0 win over Heerenveen secured the Eredivisie title for the Amsterdam club, ensuring that PSV will finish the season in second place no matter what happens in their final game against PEC Zwolle on Sunday.
But PSV still wanted to thank their fans for their support this season, so the playing squad did a lap of honour at the Philips Stadion. The club’s Twitter account filmed Gakpo approaching a group of fans who had a big flag with his name on it.
Gakpo spray-painted his signature on the flag before clapping and bowing down to the supporters. His actions could be construed as a farewell to the PSV supporters – a scenario which would please Arsenal fans.
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Arsenal are on the lookout for new forwards this summer with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gone, both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah out of contract on July 1, as well as doubts over Nicolas Pepe’s future. Dutch newspaper Voetbal International reported in March that Arsenal were the favourites for Gakpo’s signature.
Ruud van Nistelrooy is poised to take over from Roger Schmidt as PSV manager this summer. And the former Manchester United striker, who has signed a contract until June 2025, is bound to want to keep Gakpo, who could decide to follow Van Nistelrooy’s career path.
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.
Gakpo is not the only striker on Arsenal’s radar, with Manchester City ’s Gabriel Jesus, Everton ’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez all being considered. Jesus is about to enter the final year of his contract and is understood to be open to leaving City after they signed Erling Haaland.
Mikel Arteta worked with Jesus at City and Gunners sporting director Edu has been in touch with the Brazilian striker’s representatives. Goal in Brazil are now reporting that they have put a formal offer of £43million (€50m) on the table.