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BREAKING NEWS: Van Dijk finally completes 'world-record' Liverpool move

992   //    27 Dec 2017, 23:45 IST
Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool's new signing Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk's protracted move from Southampton to Liverpool has been completed, with the reported £75million fee a world record for a defender.

The Netherlands international was on the brink of joining the Merseyside club at the start of the season only for the transfer to fall through after the Reds were accused of making an alleged illegal approach.

Liverpool issued an apology to Southampton over the incident and the deal has been revived, with Van Dijk signing a contract for an undisclosed length of time that commences from January 1.

Although the exact details of the transfer have not been announced, Saints confirmed the fee "will set a new world record for a defender".

Manchester City were reported to be preparing a £60m move for Van Dijk, but the Reds have moved to beat the Premier League leaders to his signature.

Van Dijk previously handed in a transfer request in a bid to force a move to Liverpool, leading to then-Southampton manager Claude Puel exiling the defender from first-team action.

The 26-year-old has been on the sidelines again of late, with Puel's successor Mauricio Pellegrino opting not to use the centre-back amid speculation over his future.

Van Dijk was absent as Southampton were battered 5-2 by Tottenham at Wembley on Boxing Day and he has not played since Saints' December 13 defeat to Leicester City.

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