Liverpool agree deal to sign €84.4 million superstar Virgil Van Dijk
What's the story
Edit: post the publication of this article, Liverpool themselves have confirmed the deal
Liverpool are on quite a roll, aren't they? After destroying Swansea's aspirations of competing at the highest level with a 5-0 hammering at Anfield, they've now turned their attentions to the transfer market and are making a splash big enough to be heard around the Premier League.
As reported by the good folk over at the Telegraph, Liverpool have agreed a world-record £75 million deal for Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk...the amount smashing the world record for a defender (which is currently £54 million for Kyle Walker).
Now, this appears to have put to an end one of the sport's most soap-operatic transfer sagas.
They have also, though, put a disclaimer stating that Chelsea and Manchester City are both interested, but it's unlikely that either will put a bid across big enough to dissuade Saints from selling to their most loyal customers, Liverpool.
In case you didn't know
This summer, Liverpool infuriated Southampton with their tapping up of the Dutch defender behind their backs and Van Dijk missed a large part of the early season due to concern over his of focus, or lack-thereof.... but after coming back into the team, he has been left out of the squad in the team's last three games - namely against Chelsea, Huddersfield, and Tottenham Hotspur.
The heart of the matter
Liverpool and Southampton were believed to have been in secret talks for a while now, but a speedy conclusion has been reached to enable Liverpool to integrate Van Dijk into their side as soon as the transfer window opens.
The Telegraph also states that wages (reportedly around £180,000 a week) are a mere formality and that personal terms have been agreed a while back.
Van Dijk at his best is a commanding presence in the box
He would help shore up Liverpool's rather shaky defence
Van Dijk is an excellent buy - even though a 'tad' overpriced - and would help make Liverpool genuine contenders for the league (maybe not this year, City are just too far ahead) while this is the best possible outcome for Southampton - as it will improve the dressing room atmosphere considerably while also making sure they now have enough money to wheel and deal in the transfer market to strengthen all areas of their team.