Southampton’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk reacts during the EFL (English Football League) Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on January 11, 2017. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Liverpool has agreed a £75 million fee for Virgil van Dijk – a world record price for a defender – according to reports in the British press.The Reds courted Van Dijk last summer but failed to persuade Southampton to part with the centre-half, and were forced into a public apology in June. But they have, according to Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph, ‘won the race’ for the Dutchman’s signature.
Liverpool and Southampton ‘have been in discreet negotiations’ for a number of days, and have finally reached an agreement over the fee.Van Dijk is likely to jump at the chance to swap the Southampton bench for the Anfield first team.
Manchester City and Chelsea remain interested in the 26-year-old, and could yet table a bid of their own. But Liverpool are pressing ahead with negotiations and an offer of a £180,000-a-week wage is described as a ‘formality’.The £75 million fee would be a world record for a defender. The most expensive defender in world history is currently £52 million Benjamin Mendy.