Leeds United owner reveals Louis van Gaal’s crucial role in Cody Gakpo to Liverpool transfer

Liverpool got a favour from an old foe in their signing of winger Cody Gakpo amid interest from elsewhere.

Leeds United’s owner Andrea Radrizzani says Liverpool hijacked his club’s move for Cody Gakpo.

Liverpool won the race for the Dutch winger on the back of the World Cup, snapping up Gakpo officially in the January transfer window. The Reds paid between £35million and £45million for the former PSV star who enjoyed a superb World Cup in Qatar.

Since then, Gakpo hasn’t quite managed to maintain his electric goalscoring form, but he has managed to score twice in his first six Premier League games, and that does come with a backdrop of a very disappointing season so far for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Liverpool won the race to sign Gakpo without too much drama, with the Reds getting in early ahead of the January window, agreeing a pre-contract agreement. But the Dutchman almost joined Leeds during the previous window, according to Whites owner Radrizzani.

“We were so close to signing Cody Gakpo. It was done on August deadline day, done with PSV too. Then it collapsed because of Van Gaal”, he told DAZN. “Van Gaal called Gakpo and told him to wait for because of the World Cup – then he joined Liverpool.”

As it turned out, Gakpo went on to score three times in five games for the Netherlands at the World Cup, and that saw him move into a different bracket as far as Leeds are concerned. As for Van Gaal, the Dutch boss is going to want to see his players play at the highest level possible, and while Liverpool have disappointed so far this season, their future looks a lot brighter than Leeds’ future.

Ultimately, PSV will also have received a better deal because of their former winger’s excellent form on the biggest stage. Gakpo will now be looking to kick on after a steady start to life at Anfield.