LONDON: Liverpool have signed Dutch forward Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven, the Premier League club said on Wednesday, pipping Manchester United to the Netherlands international’s signature.
Financial details of the fee were not disclosed by either club but British media reported Liverpool will pay an initial fee of £37 million (US$44.49 million) for the 23-year-old, who scored three goals at the World Cup in Qatar.
The Guardian had reported that United’s Dutch boss Erik ten Hag was interested in signing Gakpo – who had nine goals and 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie games before the World Cup break – before Liverpool entered negotiations and sealed the deal.
“I think this is a great club for me to come in and try to show what I can and try to help the team to achieve more beautiful moments that they already did in the past years,” Gakpo said.
Gakpo’s arrival is welcome reinforcement for Liverpool who lost Colombian forward Luis Diaz to a knee injury while Portugal’s Diogo Jota has been sidelined with a calf problem since October which saw him miss the World Cup.
Gakpo led the line for the Netherlands in the World Cup where he guided them to the quarterfinals, but he played on the left wing for PSV Eindhoven.
The Dutch team is managed by former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was resigned to losing Gakpo in the January transfer window after his stellar performances this season.
“If I have the choice, I prefer the summer but it can also be now. There comes a time when you can’t say ‘no’,” Nistelrooy said earlier this month.
“It’s wonderful how he has showcased himself. I enjoyed watching him (at the World Cup). He deserves this because of how he has behaved, how he has continued to work and perform.”