Van Dijk wants to ‘achieve something special’ with Liverpool after £75m move

first_img1 Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk will join Liverpool in January Virgil van Dijk set his sights on helping Liverpool “achieve something special” after a world-record deal for the centre-back was agreed with Southampton.The Holland international will officially move to Anfield on January 1 in a transfer that is understood to be worth £75million, the highest price ever paid for a defender.Liverpool FC news: Reds announce they will sign Virgil van Dijk, and this is what fans thinkThe deal will eclipse the £54million spent by Manchester City to sign England full-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham during the summer and sees a protracted saga reach its end.Van Dijk said: “Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player. Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football.”In a message on his Twitter page, where he posed with a Liverpool shirt, he added: “I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come.”Van Dijk handed in a transfer request before the start of the new season, making it clear he wanted Southampton to take up the interest from Liverpool.The Reds had issued a public apology in June for “any misunderstanding” following suggestions of an improper approach for the centre-back.The 26-year-old trained on his own before being reintegrated into Southampton’s first-team squad as he recovered from an ankle injury. He made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on September 16.Van Dijk, though, now has his focus firmly on helping the Reds achieve their targets over the closing months of the campaign – with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently fourth in the Premier League following the 5-0 trashing of bottom club Swansea on Boxing Day.Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes the record fee will prove money well spent if Van Dijk helps the Reds to more success.“Rio Ferdinand went to Manchester United, for I think just over £30million, but he repaid that. He was Manchester United’s top centre-back, won trophies and was there for 10 years,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.“That’s what Van Dijk has to do – take Liverpool to trophies and be Liverpool’s main, number one, centre-back for the next decade or so.”Liverpool and Southampton both issued statements at 6pm on Wednesday to confirm the deal had been brokered.Southampton said the transfer “will set a new world-record for a defender”.Van Dijk joined Southampton during September 2015 from Celtic, who are set to receive a hefty seven-figure sell-on fee.The Dutchman added in his Twitter post that he would “always be indebted” to Southampton for giving him the chance of Premier League football.“Despite a difficult last few months, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything,” Van Dijk wrote.last_img read more

Chelsea update on Roma raid, Batshuayi will go on loan and Sandro decision made

first_img 6 6 Thibaut Courtois – Thibaut Courtois is heading out of Stamford Bridge after seven years Alex Sandro – Sandro has been heavily linked with Chelsea, but has also emerged as a target of Man United’s. However, the Manchester Evening News understands Old Trafford manager Jose Mourinho has decided against reinforcing the left-back role this month. The club have activated a clause in Luke Shaw’s contract to extend his current contract, which expires at the end of the season, by another year. It prevents him leaving for free in the summer, so may mean Sandro is looked at again. 6 Andy Carroll (West Ham) – One of the shock rumours of this transfer window has come to an end after it was announced Carroll would be out for three months following foot surgery. Conte seems keen to recruit a big striker as a ‘Plan B’ and Chelsea have also been linked to other tall strikers in the Premier League. 6 Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) – Chelsea will be on red alert after the Bayern Munich player refused to commit himself to the club during an interview with a German publication Kicker. Vidal, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea for a long time, was quoted saying: “I’ll stay here [Munich] until the summer, then we’ll see what happens.” The Bavarian side will sign Leon Goretzka from Schalke at the end of the season, paving the way for Vidal to depart. Michy Batshuayi – If Dzeko does arrive then the Belgian is off, according to Antonio Conte. “If another striker, then Batshuayi will go on loan,” the Chelsea manager said. “I think he wants to have the opportunity to play with regularity. I think this is right.” 6 As we enter the business end of the January transfer window, there are some rumours which continue to gather momentum while others fade away dramatically. Rumours surrounding Chelsea have been mentioned on countless occasions in January, some exciting and some really quite bizarre. Kenedy has already joined Newcastle for the remainder of the season, but what of the club’s targets?Antonio Conte’s desire to bring in another striker has seen the likes of Edin Dzeko and even Peter Crouch linked with a move to the Blues.But what are the latest Chelsea transfer stories? Click the right arrow above to see the rumours… Edin Dzeko (Roma) – The former Manchester City player has reportedly agreed to join Antonio Conte’s side before the end of this transfer window. According to the London Evening Standard the two sides just need to finalise the fees, with Roma wanting £44m for the striker and his team-mate Emerson Palmieri, plus another £13.2m depending on various criteria, but Chelsea have been reluctant to meet that figure. The length of Dzeko’s contract is also believed to be holding up the deal as he has two years left on his deal in Roma, which he would like as a bare minimum from Chelsea. 6last_img read more