Liverpool have reportedly agreed a £75 million fee with Southampton to sign long-term centre-back target Virgil van Dijk in the January window.
The Reds pursued a deal for the Dutchman last summer, but were forced to publicly withdraw their interest after it emerged Jurgen Klopp had met the player before contact between the two clubs.
However, with Liverpool president Mike Gordon working to repair their relationship with the Saints in the closing months of 2017, they were able to enter negotiations.
And according to the Telegraph, Southampton have now accepted a world-record £75 million offer for the 26-year-old.
This fee eclipses the £54 million Man City paid to sign Kyle Walker from Tottenham in the summer, with Van Dijk set to become the most expensive defender in the world.
City were also in the running to sign Van Dijk, but have lost out with the player’s preference to move to Merseyside.
The Times‘ Paul Joyce reports that an official announcement is due on Wednesday night:
Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool to be announced tonight. Undergone medical today. Joins on January 1.
— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) December 27, 2017
And Jeremy Wilson writes that “personal terms of around £180,000-a-week are likely to be a formality.”
This would make Van Dijk the Reds’ highest-earning player, too, surpassing Philippe Coutinho, who signed a new £150,000-a-week contract back in January.
Moving swiftly to agree terms with Southampton serves as a major statement of intent from Klopp’ side, with the need to sign a new leading centre-back clear.
Van Dijk would likely come in to partner another of Klopp’s signings, Joel Matip, though the Cameroonian’s fitness issues could see Dejan Lovren retained as cover.
Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez are also available as options at the heart of the defence, while Liverpool have also been touted with interest in Basel centre-back Manuel Akanji.