How Liverpool shocked dawdling Man Utd and beat them to Cody Gakpo transfer despite Red Devils’ MONTHS of preparation | The Sun

LIVERPOOL have beaten Manchester United in the race for World Cup star Cody Gakpo.

And victory will taste even sweeter for Jurgen Klopp after his dawdling rivals were left shocked by Liverpool’s swiftness.

But Klopp’s stunning £37million swoop wasn’t even being talked about before Christmas.

Indeed, Gakpo was widely expected to link up with Erik ten Hag instead.

His stunning performances for Holland in Qatar only served to fuel talk of an immediate switch.

However, Gakpo is now on his way to Anfield after PSV announced an agreement.


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And Liverpool’s focused speed was the key factor in getting a deal over the line.

Klopp has been left with a barren squad following injuries to forwards Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

Mo Salah has at times been a shadow of the player he once was, while Darwin Nunez often makes Timo Werner look like George Best.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Klopp begged Liverpool’s board to move swiftly for Gakpo in order to save the club’s season.

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The Reds certainly hit the jackpot a year ago when they landed Diaz from Porto in a stunning January move.

And Liverpool’s board happily obliged Klopp by giving the green light for a blitzkrieg bid.

However, the Reds were also able to take advantage of United and their inaction over the past six months.

Gakpo was known to be a target for then-new boss Ten Hag when he took charge last summer.

However, United prioritised other deals while believing they could keep the forward on ice.

Gakpo made no secret of his desire to complete a move to Old Trafford.

But while Ten Hag continued to push, he was met with resistance by United chiefs.

The Glazers are finally looking to pack up after years of misery.

And a decision was made behind the scenes NOT to pursue permanent deals this winter.

Even with Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock departure, it’s reckoned United will only make loan signings next month – if any at all.

And that tardiness allowed Liverpool to pounce with immediate effect, while Gakpo was only too pleased to finally seal his Premier League switch.

Ronaldo’s exit also raised the need for United to get an out-and-out No9, which versatile Gakpo is not.

Alejandro Garnacho’s unexpected rise means the Red Devils are already well-stocked on the wings.

And Marcus Rashford has come into his own this term for both club and country.

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Ten Hag has been further boosted by the return of Anthony Martial from a long-term injury.

But all eyes will be on Anfield in March when United visit in the league, with Gakpo surely determined to show Ten Hag what he missed out on.

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