Liverpool beat a string of clubs to win the race to sign Cody Gakpo (Picture: Getty Images)
Cody Gakpo says he thought he was going to sign for Manchester United and also came close to joining Leeds before arriving at Liverpool.
The Dutch forward has arrived in the Premier League, with Liverpool shelling out around £40m to PSV Eindhoven for his much sought after signature.
The 23-year-old nearly moved to England in the summer, with Manchester United strongly linked with a bid for him, but the Red Devils were not alone in pursuing the Netherlands international.
Gakpo says he was considering a move to Elland Road, and thought he was going to go to Old Trafford, before ending up with a switch to Anfield this month.
‘It was difficult this summer. It was a very intense period.,’ said Gakpo. ‘I tried to find my peace, but it was difficult. I thought I was going to Manchester United, but in the end it didn’t work out.
‘Leeds United came in. They are a good club, but I asked myself if I should really go there and when you have a lot of doubts, it is not good.’
A lot is expected of the new arrival on Merseyside, especially after his three goals for Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar, but he expects to get even better after scoring nine times already for PSV this season.
‘I think I can still make many steps, can do better, and can improve as a player,’ he said.
‘Even in Qatar, I became a better footballer in record time because I played with the best players in the Netherlands and came up against the greatest footballers from other countries.
‘It was hard to define exactly how I was improving while I was out there. But once the World Cup was over, I had time to analyse things.
‘I used to play on a more individual level and rely on my instincts. I would take lots of players on and try to do something special every time I got the ball.
‘Now I realise I have to think more about the team. I have to choose the right moment to dribble and make actions. I have taken steps to recognise that.’
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‘I thought I was going to Manchester United.’