PSV announces deal with Liverpool for World Cup star Cody Gakpo

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — He was one of the standout performers at the World Cup and now PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo appears set to kick off the January transfer window with a move to Liverpool.

PSV announced on Monday that it had agreed an undisclosed fee for the Netherlands international.

“The 23-year-old attacker will leave for England imminently where he will be subjected to the necessary formalities ahead of the completion of the transfer,” it said in a statement.

Marcel Brands, PSV’s general manager, described the deal as a “record transfer” for the club.

Liverpool has yet to confirm the deal.

The window does not officially open until Jan. 1 and confirmation of the proposed transfer came as a surprise given that Manchester United was most recently linked with a move for Gakpo.

United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken of his desire to sign a forward next month after Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract was terminated in November.

“We need to get a striker in, but it has to be the right one who brings quality into the team, not just adding to the squad — that only causes problems,” he said. “The criteria is high here at Manchester United.”

Gakpo scored three goals in the Netherlands’ run to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

“Things can change, but Cody has everything it takes to become a star,” said Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal. “He has a wonderful personality to become a star player because he is open-minded to anything and everything.”

Liverpool was expected to focus on strengthening midfield and manager Jurgen Klopp has been open about his admiration for England star Jude Bellingham. However, injuries to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota convinced Liverpool to move quickly for Gakpo.

It can be difficult to conclude major transfers during the January window because of inflated prices midway through the season. But United’s determination to add to its attack could see the club become one of the biggest movers in the market before the window closes at the end of next month.