Liverpool complete record-breaking £75m deal for Virgil van Dijk

The 26-year-old will relocate to Anfield as soon as the winter transfer window opens on New Year’s Day and will wear the number four jersey, according to the club’s official website.

BBC Sport report the sum will be £75m, smashing the £53m Manchester City paid Spurs for Kyle Walker in the summer.

For much of pre-season Van Dijk was strongly associated with a move to Merseyside, and the Reds even publicly apologised to the Saints when faced with a ‘tapping-up’ investigation from the Premier League.

Such was Van Dijk’s desire to link up with Jürgen Klopp, he informed Southampton of his intention to leave via a transfer request, but a move never went through and he was gradually assimilated back into Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad.

A graduate of FC Groningen’s youth academy, Van Dijk joined Celtic in 2013 and spent two seasons with the Scottish powerhouse before relocating to England.

Since arriving on the south coast he’s been an imposing figure in defence as well as attack, scoring seven goals across 80 appearances while earning numerous plaudits for his defensive capabilities.

Moving to England also saw his fortunes with the Dutch national team change. Despite enjoying some exemplary performances at Celtic, the Breda-native’s international debut came in October 2015 while plying his trade in England, and he’s played 16 times for Oranje since.