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Liverpool Sign Defender For £75m

Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk will join Liverpool when the transfer window re-opens on 1 January in a world record £75m deal.

The Netherlands international had been expected to join the Reds last summer after he handed in a transfer request.

But a move fell through when Liverpool apologised for making an alleged illegal approach for the 26-year-old.

The fee is the most ever paid for a defender – Manchester City paid £52m to Monaco for Benjamin Mendy in July.

Van Dijk said in a statement he was “delighted and honoured” to sign for the Merseyside club and accepted he had had a “difficult last few months” at St Mary’s.

He was left out of Southampton’s squad for their 5-2 Premier League defeat by Tottenham on Tuesday, prompting speculation he was set to leave the club.

“Southampton have agreed a fee that will set a new world record for a defender,” the south coast club confirmed on Wednesday.

The player only signed a new six-year contract last year, having joined the Saints from Celtic for £13m in September 2015.

However, Liverpool’s interest in the summer prompted a transfer request from the player which saw him forced to train alone by manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

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