Liverpool report: 'Secret agent' played key role in Cody Gakpo deal

Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo celebrates a goal for PSV in the Eredivisie (Image credit: Getty)

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk played a key role in persuading Cody Gakpo to join Liverpool, according to reports in the Dutch media.

The Reds have agreed a deal to sign the forward from PSV, with the transfer set to officially go through once the January market opens for business this weekend.

Liverpool (opens in new tab) will pay an initial £37m for the Netherlands international, who is valued at £53.1m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

Gakpo, who was previously linked with a move to Manchester United (opens in new tab), impressed at World Cup 2022, scoring three goals for Louis van Gaal's side as they reached the quarter-finals.

Only Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Julian Alvarez and Olivier Giroud found the back of the net more often than the Dutchman, who has scored 13 goals in all competitions for PSV this term.

And according to Eindhovens Dagblad (opens in new tab), Van Dijk helped to persuade his countryman to sign on the dotted line with Liverpool, who beat Aston Villa (opens in new tab) 3-1 on Boxing Day.

The Dutch outlet writes that Gakpo paid close attention to his international team-mate during several conversations about his future.

However, it was not the only reason for the 23-year-old's decision to join Liverpool ahead of several other suitors from around Europe.

'Hopefully the injured players can come back soon, and hopefully we can welcome some new players at our football club. 

"We will see. I think that quality is always welcome at Liverpool," Van Dijk said after the victory over Villa on Monday, hinting at what was to come.

More Liverpool stories

Liverpool have reportedly reached an agreement to sign Enzo Fernandez (opens in new tab), who has starred at World Cup 2022.

Jurgen Klopp has reacted to an injury (opens in new tab) that will keep Luis Diaz on the sidelines for three months, describing the development as a "smash in the face".

And the Reds and Tottenham could go head-to-head (opens in new tab) for Morocco international Sofyan Amrabat next month.

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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).