Premier League

Liverpool plan second Man Utd transfer hijack after Gakpo

Stuart Telford
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

Liverpool swooped to sign Cody Gakpo from under Manchester United’s noses, and they are poised to acquire another one of their rivals’ targets following injury to Virgil van Dijk…

Gakpo looked ready to sign for Man Utd in January after a move for him last summer fell through at the 11th hour, but with the Red Devils for sale, they reportedly tried to loan him first before paying for him – under new ownership – next summer.

Liverpool sensed an opportunity, gave PSV Eindhoven €57 million up front, and now Gakpo will be playing his football at Anfield.

READ: 10 players who could join Liverpool in January

Something similar could now happen with Kim Min-jae. The Napoli centre-back has been tagged as a long-term replacement for Harry Maguire at Old Trafford, but the South Korean will also command a significant fee.

Napoli scrambled to extend Kim’s contract when United’s interest first came to light, and there is now a two-week window next summer during which he can be acquired for €45m.

But Liverpool, unlike Man Utd, don’t need to wait until then, and they are now in the market for a centre-back after Van Dijk was ruled out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.

READ: Revealed: The clause in Man Utd target Kim Min-jae’s contract

English interest

“I can tell you that there was a meeting between Kim and his meeting with a foreign club at the Paradiso Hotel in Naples,” Antonio Corrado said in discussion with fellow Italian journalist Mimmo Malfitano recently.

“Whoever gave me the news, told me they spoke in English, but couldn’t get the name of the club. It’s no coincidence that Napoli immediately took steps to renew the player’s contract and eliminate the release clause.”

That clause has yet to be eliminated, and the English club in question were likely Man Utd, but Liverpool’s interest would seem to add up with Ibrahima Konate only recently recovered from injury, leaving Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as the Reds’ central defensive cover.

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