has emerged as one of the breakout stars at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, scoring three goals in four matches to help the Netherlands reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
The 23-year-old had been in red-hot form for PSV Eindhoven prior to the World Cup and his continued impressive run has attracted the attention of several top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid.
Indeed, Los Blancos are reported to have shown interest in Gakpo but are set to face fierce competition from Manchester United. The Red Devils have had their eyes on the Dutch ace since the summer and are believed to be in contact with his agents.
However, Gakpo’s Netherlands teammate and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has urged the young forward to snub Manchester United in case Real Madrid come calling for him, as he is ready for the ‘next level’.
“Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level? No disrespect, not at all. I definitely think he has that next step in him. I definitely feel like it could happen, whether that is in the winter or the summer or next year, time will tell,” van Dijk said (h/t Evening Standard).
“He is a great boy who works hard, very talented and definitely there is more in him. We are so pleased he is doing so well for us. Long may it continue,” the Liverpool defender further added.
Prior to the World Cup, Gakpo had plundered 13 goals and 17 assists from 24 matches across all competitions for PSV. Given the form he has displayed, it seems only a matter of time before a move to a big club materialises.
Only time will tell whether he joins Manchester United or if Real Madrid make a move to sign Gakpo.