Liverpool beat Manchester United to the signing of PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo as the striker joins the Merseyside team ahead of the Red devil.
Manchester United were considered as being in pole position to sign Gakpo in the January transfer window until Monday night.
That was when PSV released a statement confirming they had agreed a fee with Liverpool for their prized asset, who has scored nine goals and clocked up 12 assists from 14 Eredivisie matches so far this term.
According to The Sun, however, the Glazers blocked United from signing Gakpo despite Ten Hag pushing for the board to make funds available for his signing.
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The Reds will pay between £35m and £45m for the 23-year-old, who scored three goals in five appearances at the World Cup in Qatar.
Gakpo, who underwent his medical on Merseyside on Wednesday afternoon, is understood to have agreed a deal until 2028, with his transfer subject to a work a permit.
Gakpo on Virgil van Dijk’s role in his move: “We spoke a lot over the phone [in] the last days.
“What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family — I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things.
“I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff. I’m really grateful to be here.”
A late Christmas present for you, Reds… 🤩 🎄 pic.twitter.com/7BO26b9Kax— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 28, 2022
He will officially become a Liverpool player on New Year’s Day when the transfer window opens and could be in line to make his debut against Brentford on January 2.
Klopp: ‘Smart’ Gakpo can become even better
Jurgen Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “There is a lot to like about Cody. He is still only 23 years old but he already has a lot of experience. “He was the captain of PSV, he was the Player of the Year in Holland last season and, as a lot of people have just seen, he also had a great World Cup with his national team.
“So, it is clear that he is already a really, really good player but his age also means he also has the potential to become even better.
“Offensively, he is very versatile and on top of this we know he is a smart footballer and also a smart person, so we are really excited to be able to work with him.”
Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, sanctioned the move and were delighted to add another expert to their squad.
Sports director Julian Ward negotiated and finalised the deal with PSV over three days between Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.
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