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Van Dijk raring to go as Liverpool smash world record to net £75m ace


Liverpool have struck a world-record deal to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

The Dutch centre-back will move to Anfield in a transfer that is understood to be worth £75m, the highest price ever paid for a defender.

Southampton announced: "Southampton Football Club can confirm an agreement with Liverpool over the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.

"Southampton have agreed a fee that will set a new world record for a defender. The club wish Virgil well in his future when the deal is completed on January 1."

Van Dijk, who was also reported to have been interesting Chelsea and Manchester City, has finally secured the move he wanted after a protracted transfer saga reached its end.

The Dutchman, who handed in a transfer request during the summer when trying to push through a move, posted a message on his Twitter account, posing with a Liverpool shirt.

"Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player," Van Dijk wrote. "Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football.

"I can't wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come."

Van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic during September 2015 and under the terms of that transfer the Scottish club are set for a sell-on fee in the region of £7.5m.

A statement from Liverpool read: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.

"The Reds have agreed a deal with the south coast club, and the player himself, that will see the 26-year-old defender move to Anfield when the transfer window re-opens on January 1, 2018.

"The Netherlands international will be assigned squad No.4, upon his arrival at Liverpool."

Van Dijk's transfer will eclipse the fee of £54m spent by Manchester City to sign England full-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham during the summer.

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