Liverpool signed Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk on Wednesday for a reported £75 million in a deal that makes him the world’s most expensive defender.
Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 27, 2017
Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player! 🔴🔴🔴 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 I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come ⚽️ I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton. I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Thank you for all the messages of support 💪🏾 I’m now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting started 🔴 #YNWA A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk) on
“Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk,” a statement on the club’s website said.
“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 number four, upon his arrival at Liverpool.”
The previous world record transfer for a defender was the £54 million Manchester City paid Tottenham for England right-back Kyle Walker in the close-season.
Saints confirmed that Liverpool’s offer had shattered the record, but didn’t reveal the exact fee.
“Southampton have agreed a fee that will set a new world-record for a defender. The club wishes Virgil well in his future when the deal is completed on January 1st 2018,” a statement read.
A fee of £75 million would also be level with Romelu Lukaku as the second most expensive transfer in Premier League history, behind only Manchester United’s £90 million purchase of Paul Pogba.
Van Dijk, who moved to Southampton from Celtic in 2015, was left out at the start of the season by new Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino after having a transfer request rejected.
He could make his debut in the FA Cup third round tie against Everton on January 5 after becoming the latest player to move from Southampton to Liverpool.
Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane have all made the same switch in recent years.