Premier League • England

Cody Gakpo to Liverpool: Fabrizio Romano names two factors that convinced Jurgen Klopp with Van Dijk role in transfer revealed

Cody Gakpo, Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands celebrate a goal during UEFA Nations League - Group D - Poland v Netherlands - PGE Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland

Cody Gakpo is expected to finalise his transfer to Liverpool in the coming days with Jurgen Klopp understandably playing a leading role in helping the Reds win the race.

The 23-year-old winger has found himself a man in huge demand after a blistering run of form in the Eredivisive for PSV. The 21 goals and 15 assists he notched last season led to speculation of a move to Manchester United. And while talks were held, their interest cooled once it became clear that a deal for Antony was gathering pace.

That almost opened the door for a move to Leeds, with Victor Orta making a late dash to Eindhoven. The Whites director of football, though, returned empty handed, missing out over the way Leeds tried to structure the signing.

And with a record better than a goal contribution per game this season (Gakpo has 30 in 24 across all competitions so far), it was clear PSV would not be able to retain his services for much longer.

As such, it was announced on Monday night that Liverpool had reached an agreement with PSV for his signing. And while the transfer fee has not been disclosed, it is widely reported to be for an initial £37m, rising to £50m.

Gakpo is now expected to fly to Merseyside for a medical in the coming days with the deal likely to go through without issues.

He will likely sign a minimum four and a half year deal, keeping him at Anfield until 2027. It also adds to Liverpool’s vast attacking options, as well as being one in the face for Manchester United.

They were strongly pushing to recruit Gakpo themselves as they looked to fill the gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jurgen Klopp convinced to sign Cody Gakpo

However, the Red Devils will now have to look elsewhere after seeing Liverpool race in to seal the Gakpo signing.

The push to bring Gakpo to Anfield was initially led by Klopp’s No 2, Pep Lijnders, who was ‘charmed’ by his fellow Dutchman.

But while United were always considered favourites, TEAMtalk’s transfer insider Graeme Bailey explained the Merseysiders were always keen and lurking behind the scenes.

Now the deal to take Gakpo to Anfield has come to fruition, trusted transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has explained the factors behind the move.

And he claims that Klopp was key to making the move happen, revealing how injuries have forced him to act.

The Reds have been badly affected by injuries this season and are currently without Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. The loss of Diaz, in particular, has hit Liverpool hard.

The Colombian has made a telling difference since arriving at Anfield last January from FC Porto. However, a knee injury sustained at Arsenal has proved more problematic than initially feared. And Diaz now faces a longer-than-expected lay-off.

And with Jota also on the sidelines, Romano claims Klopp quickly targeted Gakpo as an ideal addition to their attack.

Like last January with Diaz, the Liverpool board have acted quickly and decisively to secure a deal. And with FSG wanting to show they are still invested into the club, Klopp was delighted to see them finance the transfer.

The capture of Gakpo also prevents United from strenghtening their hand. And while that was not in Klopp’s thinking directly, the move to take Gakpo to Anfield may prove vital in the race to secure a top-four finish.

Virgil van Dijk also crucial to Cody Gakpo, Liverpool transfer

Once Liverpool made their move, Gakpo was quickly in conversation with Virgil van Dijk over life at Anfield.

The two players are good pals from their time together in the Netherlands’ national squad. And Romano claims Gakpo spoke with Van Dijk once an agreement had been reached between the two clubs.

Gakpo was already sure on the move, having quickly agreed on personal terms. But it seems his mind was fully convinced following a chat between the two players over life on Merseyside.

The towering defender himself made the move to Anfield in January 2018. And he quickly proved one of the best signings made by Klopp.

And with Diaz making a significant impact upon signing last January, the Reds will hope for the same from Gakpo.

Barring any surprise hitches, Gakpo will soon be announced a Liverpool player imminently. And Gakpo could make his debut in the FA Cup third-round clash with Wolves on January 7.

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