Tyrell Malacia gives his verdict on Manchester United target Cody Gakpo | Football

Malacia full of praise for his fellow Netherlands international (Picture: Getty)

Tyrell Malacia believes Manchester United transfer target Cody Gakpo is ready to make the step up and join another club.

United were interested in signing Gakpo during the summer transfer window with a move to Old Trafford at one point close, according to the player.

Erik ten Hag’s side prioritised a move for Antony instead but interest in the PSV Eindhoven star remains with his stock rising even further with three goals in four appearances for Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar.

Gakpo has also bagged 13 goals and provided 17 assists for PSV this season with United’s need for more firepower heightening following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

And amid reports suggesting United are keen to sign the 23-year-old in January, his countryman Malacia is confident he can make the step up.

‘He’s good enough for the top, there’s no doubt,’ Malacia told The Athletic.

Malacia himself left Netherlands in the summer, parting ways with Feyenoord to link up with ten Hag in Manchester.  

Gakpo has scored three times in the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Netherlands will take on Argentina in a huge World Cup quarter-final on Friday with Gakpo’s focus solely on the campaign in Qatar for the time being.

‘I have to be honest, I am not thinking about that now,’ Gakpo said of his future.

‘I am focused on the tournament and want to keep performing well, to keep helping the team. Hopefully when we become world champions we can think about other things.

‘I try to keep focused and the other players don’t really speak about that kind of thing.’

While he is firmly in United’s sights, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk believes the club will have little chance of competing for his signature should one of Europe’s elite enter the running.

‘Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level?’ said Van Dijk when informed of the increasing interest in Gakpo from Europe’s heavyweight clubs. ‘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.

‘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.’

MORE : Virgil van Dijk aims dig at Man Utd over transfer interest in Cody Gakpo

MORE : Wes Brown backs Cody Gakpo to be the right fit at Manchester United and assesses Jadon Sancho’s future at Old Trafford

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