Virgil van Dijk discusses role in Cody Gakpo’s Liverpool transfer

Virgil van Dijk has played down suggestions that he played a major role in Liverpool signing Netherlands teammate Cody Gakpo.

After being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United for months, Gakpo left PSV Eindhoven for Liverpool earlier this week in deal worth an initial £37m.

Upon arrival, the forward revealed that he had spoken to Van Dijk about the club over the phone, adding that it is handy to have someone he already knows on the Reds’ books.

Speaking after Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Leicester City on Friday – a match which Gakpo watched from the stands – Van Dijk insisted he did not have that big a part to play in the transfer.

“No, [my role] was over exaggerated. I spoke to him, I can only say good things because I’m here, enjoying my time. We’ve been very successful but the manager said it as well, if it was me it was an easy decision to make, I didn’t need convincing,” Van Dijk said.

“If there was any questions, I answered them honestly, I’m glad he’s here and get started as quickly as possible.”

Gakpo will be eligible for Liverpool’s trip to Brentford on Monday evening, though Jurgen Klopp has already suggested a debut against Wolves in the FA Cup next Saturday is more likely.