Southampton have told PSV Eindhoven they are prepared to increase their offer for forward Cody Gakpo after having an initial bid rejected.
However, the two clubs are still £3m to £4m apart in their valuation of the 23-year-old, who has been a target for Manchester United this summer and is of interest to Leeds United.
Southampton have had a £21m bid rejected for Gakpo, with PSV understood to be holding out for at least £25m.
Gakpo started for – and captained – PSV in Wednesday night’s league match against FC Volendam in the Eredivisie, with the transfer window set to close in the Netherlands 24 hours earlier than the rest of Europe due to an administrative error from the nation’s football governing body.
Sky Sports News has been told, though, that behind the scenes at St Mary’s, officials are still hopeful an agreement can be reached before Thursday’s deadline.
Leeds could yet rival Southampton for Gakpo but Everton have appeared to rule out a move with Anthony Gordon now set to remain at Goodison Park in this window following interest from Chelsea.
It is understood Leeds have an interest in Gakpo and Wolves forward Hee-Chan Hwang.
Gakpo was Manchester United’s back-up option to Brazil forward Antony, but now they have agreed a deal with Ajax it appears unlikely they will move for the Netherlands international.
Saints agree loan deal for Maitland-Niles
Southampton have agreed a deal with Arsenal for the loan signing of midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with an option to buy.
Arsenal are thought to have activated a one-year extension option in the midfielder’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of this season.
Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season on loan in Serie A with Roma, with the 25-year-old only making 12 appearances under Jose Mourinho.
‘Gakpo’s camp feels PL move is plausible’
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
“It’s not ideal [that he played on Wednesday]because you don’t want to risk injury, and you want to give as much time as possible for travelling.
“But the level of interest in him, his camp feel it is plausible for him to move to the Premier League this window.
“Southampton were expected to go back in with an improved offer, Leeds are interested, Everton have said he is not a player for them.
“But there are so many clubs looking to strengthen their attacking options that he does fit the bill.”
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