- Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo was one of the breakout stars at the Qatar 2022 World Cup
- He was already on the radar of top European clubs before he impressed again in Qatar
- PSV manager Ruud Van Nistelrooy has now opened the lid on what transpired before he moved to England
Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven made a shock announcement in December over the transfer of Dutch forward Cody Gakpo from the Netherlands to England for £44m.
They beat Manchester United, who have courted the player for weeks and were hoping to use the Dutch connection of Erik Ten Hag to poach the player in the summer of 2023.
The 23-year-old has struggled badly since moving to Anfield and is yet to register an attacking output in six games evenly spread across Premier League and FA Cup games.
Van Nistelrooy displeased with Gakpo
PSV manager has opened up on how the deal for Gakpo to Liverpool happened against his advice to the forward. He spoke to De Telegraaf, as quoted by Sportskeeda.
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''Gakpo's dream was a move to Manchester United for a long time. He had been in contact with Erik ten Hag since last August. I wanted him to join United too,'' the former Manchester United player said.
''But United didn't make an offer in January, so I advised him to wait until the summer. Then, something happened, and he refused my advice. He listened to Virgil van Dijk, who was pushing him to join his team. He told me he wanted to go abroad in January,'' he added.
Koeman questions Gakpo's move
New national team coach Ronald Koeman also questioned the player's move to the English league and a struggling team like Liverpool at the moment.
You can see that he has ended up in a team that is not doing well. Then it becomes more difficult for him as a new signing. You are tested right away, he said, as quoted by Sports Mole.
''If you don't score or you're not important, and you don't win any matches, it's very difficult, especially for a young player,'' he said.
''If that were someone aged 28 with experience, it would be different,'' he concluded.
Gakpo reveals Van Dijk's influence
Van Nistelrooy's comments on who convinced the former PSV player to join Liverpool are accurate, as Gakpo confirmed in his own words when he joined Liverpool, as earlier reported by Sports Brief.
He claimed national team captain Virgil van Dijk convinced him to join Liverpool, a conversation which was done during the World Cup in Qatar, where they were together for three weeks.
The imposing defender has been absent for the Reds through a hamstring injury, and there is no specific timeline for his return as Jurgen Klopp's men continue to struggle.