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Cody Gakpo got 'clear sign' from God to reject two Liverpool rivals after failed Man Utd transfer

(Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images))


Cody Gakpo has reflected on his decision to snub two Premier League clubs before joining Liverpool, revealing he left his future in the hands of God.

Gakpo arrived at Anfield in a $45m (£35m/€41m) deal from PSV Eindhoven in January 2023 and has already scored 22 times for the Reds including two in the final three matches of the season. Liverpool managed to get his signature over the line after previous failed attempts to bring him to England.

The Dutch international told Sky Sports earlier this year that he had spoken to Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag about a move to Old Trafford in 2022, but the deal ultimately did not go through.

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According to ESPN Netherlands, the reason for the transfer failure was United being unable to meet PSV's valuation due to FFP guidelines in the Premier League. But now Gakpo claims there was also interest from two more clubs that summer.

He says he was a target for both Leeds and Southampton and such was his dilemma about leaving Eindhoven, he let fate run its course. "You have a difficult decision to make, and then you go to prayer to talk to God and ask for wisdom. I got that," Gakpo said.

"People might think I'm strange. I could go to Southampton, Leeds came into the race and PSV wanted me to stay. I presented the three options I had to God."

Gakpo would base his decision around his performance against FC Volendam in August 2022, revealing: "If I scored once, I would go to Southampton. If I scored twice I would go to Leeds and if I scored three I would stay at PSV. I couldn't have got a clearer sign."

The 25-year-old would end up scoring a hat-trick but had to wait until after the match for confirmation, after one of his efforts deflected in off an opposition defender. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds had a private jet ready to take Gakpo to England but left empty-handed.

Gakpo remained with the Eredivisie side until the January window and scored nine goals in 14 matches before Liverpool came calling but Leeds and Southampton were ultimately left cursing their luck.

Both sides were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season after poor campaigns. Gakpo would end up scoring against both sides too as Liverpool won 6-1 at Elland Road in April before a 4-4 draw with Southampton on the final day.

Liverpool.com says: It turns out everything does happen for a reason as Gakpo probably wouldn't be at Liverpool right now had he decided to move on in the summer of 2022. Manchester United's reason for not signing him is an interesting one but that loss is definitely Liverpool's gain. He will be looking to kick on again under Arne Slot next season.