Liverpool have fired the starting pistol on an intriguing January transfer window by confirming the £37m signing of Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo.
The Reds beat rivals Manchester United to Gakpo, who arrives on a five-and-a-half year contract from his boyhood club PSV Eindhoven.
“There is a lot to like about Cody,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “He is still only 23 years old but he already has a lot of experience.
“He was the captain of PSV, was the player of the year in Holland last season and, as a lot of people have just seen, he also had a great World Cup with his national team.
“So, it is clear that he is already a really, really good player but his age also means he also has the potential to become even better.
“Offensively, he is very versatile and on top of this we know he is a smart footballer and also a smart person, so we are really excited to be able to work with him.”
Gakpo, who can play on either wing or as a central striker, will officially become a Liverpool player on 1 January when the transfer window opens.
He scored 55 times in 159 appearances for PSV and took his tally for the Netherlands to six goals in 14 games by scoring three times in an impressive run at the recent World Cup in Qatar.
Who else could buy in the January transfer window?
His arrival is a statement of intent from Liverpool, who have been Manchester City’s closest challengers in the last five seasons but started this campaign poorly.
They have ground to make up if they are to retain their place in the Champions League – and their value to US owners Fenway Sports Group, who have put the club up for sale.
PSV indicated that the fee for Gakpo could rise to £40m or beyond, saying that it exceeded the amount Napoli paid for Hirving Lozano in 2019.
Liverpool are also reported to be in the market for a central midfielder, with England’s Jude Bellingham and Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez believed to be targets.
It could be a busy January transfer window for Premier League sides, with United, Chelsea and Arsenal among the big clubs expected to be active.
United have a need for attacking reinforcements following the early termination of Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract but may have to tighten their belts and make do with a loan.
Chelsea look likely to be busy for the second transfer window running, with deals for Molde striker David Datro Fofana and Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos said to be imminent.
The Blues are also in talks with Monaco over defender Benoit Badiashile and have also been credited with interest in the sought-after Fernandez.
Premier League leaders Arsenal are attempting to sign Ukraine winger Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.
They have had an opening bid of around £35m turned down but are expected to make an improved offer.
Champions Manchester City do not intend to add to their squad in the January transfer window, manager Pep Guardiola has said.