Cody Gakpo joins Liverpool from PSV in initial £35m transfer
Cody Gakpo has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract
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Liverpool have signed Cody Gakpo for an initial fee of €40m (£35m) subject to a work permit, with the Netherlands forward agreeing a five-and-a-half-year contract at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp has been a long-time admirer of the 23-year-old but Liverpool accelerated their interest in him when injuries to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, who could both be out until March, left him short of fit attackers.
Liverpool acted swiftly to prevent the Manchester United target going elsewhere, sealing a deal that could rise to €50m (£44m).
Director of football Julian Ward had three days of talks with PSV on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day while owners Fenway Sports Group chose to sanction the move, even though they may soon sell the club.
Klopp had considered a move for Gakpo last summer but Liverpool signed Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho and renewed Mohamed Salah’s contract, but Gakpo’s subsequent form and injuries at Anfield prompted them to bid for him.
Gakpo told Liverpoolfc.com: “I feel really good, I’m really excited to be here. I’m looking forward to start training and start playing for this amazing club.
“I think this is a great club for me to come in and try to show what I can [do] and try to help the team to achieve more beautiful moments that they already did in the past years. I think for me personally it’s also good to develop here and there’s a lot of great players here [who] I can learn a lot of things from.”
Gakpo, the reigning Dutch Footballer of the Year, has scored 13 goals and registered 17 assists for PSV this season and, while he has mainly been used on the left flank by manager Ruud van Nistelrooy, Klopp believes he is capable of operating in any of the three forward positions in his side.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to [playing at Anfield]. I heard a lot of great stories about the stadium, about the atmosphere. I cannot wait.
“Obviously [my aim is] to win as many prizes as we can as a team, to perform well, to show the world what we can do as a team and what I can do as a player. And personally, just to keep developing and become a better player every season.
“I’m really thankful that everybody is giving me such a warm welcome and I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody in the stadium and around the city.”
Gakpo scored in all three group games in the World Cup for the Netherlands and, along with other players who have been in Qatar, will be tested in training before he is considered for first-team football. He will not be eligible for Liverpool’s Friday match against Leicester anyway, as Monday’s trip to Brentford will be the first after the transfer window has officially opened.
His arrival means Liverpool have signed a high-profile forward in three successive windows, with Diaz and Nunez signing in January and June respectively.
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