Man Utd have six red flags with ‘Cody Gakpo transfer being finalised’

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Manchester United are, according to reports, finalising an agreement to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven this January. The Red Devils are interested in the Netherlands international at a time where Cristiano Ronaldo is inconsistent and Anthony Martial injury-prone. But while a deal would be exciting, history suggests the 23-year-old wouldn’t be a guaranteed hit…

Manchester United, typically, prefer to do their transfer business in the summer.

But with Erik ten Hag beginning to work his magic at Old Trafford, it seems as though the Glazers are ready to back him in the New Year.

It’s been claimed that United are finalising an agreement with PSV in order to sign Gakpo, who has bagged nine goals from 12 Eredivisie appearances so far this term.

Yet, over the years, January signings haven’t always sparkled at the club – Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Bruno Fernandes aside.

So, with that being the case, Express Sport will now take a look at six players who flopped upon moving to United in the New Year – effectively acting as red flags as a result.

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Alexis Sanchez

Many thought United had struck gold when they signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January 2018.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved to the Emirates Stadium in the opposite direction and there was a sense that, in Sanchez, the Red Devils were getting a superstar.

In the end, however, things didn’t work out that way.

Sanchez scored just five goals for United, toiling under Jose Mourinho before being flogged to Inter Milan by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He’d later admit he wanted to quit United to return to Arsenal after just one training session and his time at the club was doomed to fail, especially given the huge finances involved.

Wilfried Zaha

Back in January 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson moved to secure the signing of Wilfried Zaha.

The forward had been shining for Crystal Palace and was regarded as one of the best young players in the country at the time.

But while Ferguson signed Zaha, he didn’t hang around to use the Ivory Coast international – retiring just a few months later.

The player never seemed to in the trust of David Moyes and, after just two Premier League starts, was loaned to Cardiff.

Zaha would then proceed to rejoin Palace, with the Red Devils taking a huge hit on the winger in the process – having paid £18million to land him in the first place.

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In January 2008, United were well-stocked for forwards.

They had Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Louis Saha at their disposal – options many managers would dream of having.

But that didn’t stop the Red Devils signing Manucho, who was given a contract with the club after impressing in a trial.

The less said about his stint at the club, the better.

He’d make just one league appearance for United before leaving for Panathinaikos and later Hull City, while he retired from football back in 2019.

Dong Fangzhuo

While Ferguson is one of the best managers of all time, his judgement wasn’t always bang on the money.

And Dong Fangzhuo is proof of that.

The China international joined from Dalian Shide in January 2004, with few knowing him previously.

After just one Premier League outing, however, Ferguson knew he’d made a mistake and the United flop was shown the door.

He had a period at Belgian side Royal Antwerp and would play his football in Poland, Portugal, Armenia and China again before quitting football in 2014.

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Diego Forlan

Diego Forlan had a brilliant career.

He was devastating for Villarreal and Atletico Madrid in Spain but, prior to shining in La Liga, struggled in the Premier League.

United signed Forlan in January 2002 as competition for the likes of Solskjaer and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who were their first-choice strikers.

However, it took him 27 games to get off the mark and, while he produced some big moments, he was ultimately a dud.

Forlan is currently out of work, having been sacked by Atenas de San Carlos in September last year.

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Zoran Tosic

Back in 2009, United knew Ronaldo would be on his way.

So Ferguson started planning for any potential move to Real Madrid by landing Zoran Tosic from Partizan Belgrade, with the winger ticking along promisingly at the time.

Things didn’t work out for him, however, with Tosic making just two Premier League starts.

He’d go out on loan to Moln and would enjoy his football in Russia, winning three league titles with CSKA Moscow.

Tosic is still going strong these days, with the attacker playing for FC Tobol in the Kazakhstan Premier League.

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