Arsenal and Manchester United have been dealt a major boost in any pursuit of Cody Gakpo as his PSV Eindhoven side crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Rangers in the Netherlands.
Having scraped to a 2-2 draw at Ibrox, Rangers were major underdogs for the return leg in Eindhoven, but a mistake from the PSV defence handed Rangers the only goal of the game, and saw the Scottish side head through to the group stages after their Europa League heartbreak last campaign.
And, the result means that PSV will join Arsenal and Manchester United in the Europa League, removing a possible obstacle in the way of a transfer.
Speaking ahead of his side knocking out Monaco in the last qualifying round, the 23-year-old admitted he himself was unsure that he would leave if his side made the Champions League group stages.
“We must first focus on the second leg against Monaco and try to make it to the Champions League”, he explained. “Then it is more likely I will stay. I don’t think I have said anywhere I am leaving, so there is a chance I will stay.”
The result, therefore, makes it more likely that Gakpo could leave the Netherlands this summer, with just one week left of the transfer window and with Ajax continuing to hold out for a massive fee for Antony.
Meanwhile, Arsenal remain on the lookout for a winger, and look like they are being priced out of a deal for Wolves wide-man Pedro Neto.
It has been reported that Gakpo is available for around 40m euros (£35m) this summer, though PSV technical director John de Jong had previously claimed that any deal would be done well before the transfer deadline.
‘It will not last until September 1 with Cody’, he told NOS in May. ‘I don’t think he wants that either. At the beginning of August, then things should be clear’
However, while this would clearly have to be wrong to make the deal happen, exiting the Champions League has certainly increased Gakpo’s chances of departing.