PSV Eindhoven director of football Marcel Brands has admitted that it “hurt” to sell Cody Gakpo to Liverpool, even though it does make him and the Dutch club “proud”.

Gakpo joined Liverpool in something of a surprise move at the start of the January transfer window, moving to Anfield after months of speculation about his future.

He was heavily linked with a switch to the Premier League throughout the summer window, when Manchester United showed an interest early on and Leeds tried for him later, only for Gakpo to turn it down.

Gakpo remained in the Netherlands and continued his fine form from last season, scoring nine and registering 12 assists in 14 games in the Eredivisie and also impressing in the Europa League.

He also shone at the World Cup, scoring three in his first three games at the tournament to further ramp up speculation about his future.

Liverpool ultimately decided to take the plunge, securing a €42m deal for the Netherlands star ahead of the competition in their only arrival during the January transfer window.

That move saw PSV lose a key player, something Brands admits hurt them personally, despite the pride they feel at one of their own making such a switch.

“You are happy that you were able to take the financial pressure off for a while,” MSN report him saying.

“But as a football man it hurts that you lose two of your best players. That mix is always there. You are proud that Cody is going to a club like Liverpool.

“But it also hurts your heart a little. That financial necessity was there, we knew that. We were able to anticipate that well.”