By David Lynch, Merseyside Correspondent

24th Mar, 2023 | 12:00pm

Sources: Critical Liverpool update on Cody Gakpo after fitness blow

Liverpool are confident Cody Gakpo will be available to face Manchester City despite his withdrawal from international duty, sources have told Football Insider.

The Dutchman had been selected in the Netherlands’ squad for 2024 European Championship qualifiers against France and Gibraltar this week.

However, he was forced to depart the set-up along with four other players – Sven Botman, Matthijs de Ligt, Joey Veerman & Bart Verbruggen – on Thursday due to what has been described as “a virus”.

News of Gakpo’s withdrawal represented a potential blow to Liverpool, who are scheduled to return to action with an away game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on April 1

But Football Insider understands that the 23-year-old is expected to have fully recovered in time to take on the Premier League champions.

His removal from the Dutch squad has been described as precautionary, with Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman keen to stop any illness spreading further among his players.

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As such, Gakpo is not expected to be sidelined long before a return to full training with Jurgen Klopp and his squad is possible.

The forward has scored four goals in nine Premier League outings since a January move from PSV Eindhoven, including two memorable strikes in a 7-0 win over Manchester United.

His performances since arriving mid-season have garnered plenty of praise, including from Liverpool and Netherlands teammate Virgil van Dijk.

Asked about Gakpo after that thrashing of bitter rivals United at Anfield, the defender said: “The winter isn’t an easy time to come to a club but Cody is settling in very well.

“He has to keep going, keep the confidence, keep the belief. I think he will be fine for this club. He’s a fantastic player.”

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