Jürgen Klopp has said Cody Gakpo would have been “unaffordable” had Liverpool waited to secure his signature and there remains money available for further signings in the January window.
The Netherlands’ World Cup star will officially become a Liverpool player on 1 January after the Anfield club beat off rival interest to seal his transfer from PSV Eindhoven for an initial €40m, rising to €50m. Klopp believes Liverpool had to bring forward plans to sign the 23-year-old as his rate of development could have put him out of financial reach in the near future.
The Liverpool manager also admitted the acquisition of Gakpo does not necessarily signal the end of January’s recruitment although, with his top target Jude Bellingham expected to remain at Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season, a new midfielder appears unlikely next month.
“We know what we want to do and we will see if we can do it. It’s about money, of course, but it’s more about how it always was – about the right players. And we are really, really happy that we could get Cody.
“He is a young player with a lot of potential. If he would have already been scoring 40 goals in Spain or whatever he would be unaffordable. These kind of things are all about timing, getting these boys at the right moment that they didn’t already score 55 goals per season and stuff like this.
“That’s why we were really convinced he could make the next step, and that makes it interesting. We believe in our process, when players come here – especially offensive players – they have all made a step forward because of the way we work and the way we can help them. That makes it massively interesting.”
Gakpo is ineligible for the Premier League game at home to Leicester on Friday and, due to paperwork issues plus a post-World Cup holiday, unlikely to feature at Brentford on Monday. The FA Cup third-round tie against Wolves on 7 January is a more realistic date for his debut.
The forward’s arrival gives Klopp a wealth of options in the final third, at least when Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota recover from long-term injuries, but will not push Roberto Firmino closer to the Anfield exit, according to his manager. Firmino’s contract expires at the end of this season and Klopp confirmed that talks over an extension are ongoing.
“Not for me, absolutely not,” said Klopp on whether Gakpo’s signing affected Firmino’s future. “We had talks with Bobby and I can say from my point of view I want him definitely to stay. No impact. If you mean by impact that Bobby might move then you have to ask Bobby about that but, from my point of view, no.”
Source: The Guardian