Cody Gakpo reveals Virgil van Dijk convinced him to join Liverpool amid Manchester United interest | Football


Gakpo will arrive from PSV Eindhoven (Picture: Getty/Liverpool FC)

Cody Gakpo has revealed the influence of Virgil van Dijk was key to his decision to join Liverpool.

The Netherlands international will officially become a Liverpool player on 1 January after the Reds confirmed a deal, subject to a work permit, on Wednesday evening.

Manchester United were also interested in the Dutchman’s services with Erik ten Hag discussing a move to Old Trafford with him during the summer transfer window.

Liverpool swooped over Christmas however to seal a deal ahead of their rivals, who are likely to be limited to loan signings in January, with Gakpo signing a contract until 2028 at Anfield.

Gakpo starred for Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring three times playing alongside his new Liverpool teammate van Dijk.

And speaking for the first time since his move to Merseyside was confirmed, the Dutchman revealed conversations with the centre-half played a major role in his decision to join Jurgen Klopp’s side.

‘At the moment I was calling [in] with the coach, he came into the office of the coach and then he saw me and we chatted a little bit,’ Gakpo told Liverpool’s official website.

Cody Gakpo

Van Dijk sold the Liverpool dream to his countryman (Picture: Getty/Liverpool FC)

‘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.’

Gakpo has been handed the no8 shirt at Liverpool, previously worn by Takumi Minamino, Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Moreno, John Arne Riise and Antonio Nunez in the Premier League era.

‘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,’ Gakpo said.

‘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.’

MORE : Jurgen Klopp speaks out on how Liverpool beat Manchester United to Cody Gakpo signing

MORE : Liverpool confirm signing of Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven after hijacking move for Man Utd target

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