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Liverpool fend off Man City in Virgil van Dijk race after agreeing world record £75m fee – report

Liverpool have won the race to sign long-term target Virgil van Dijk from Southampton after agreeing a world record fee for a defender of £75million, Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph reports.

Southampton have accepted a bid after negotiations between the south coast club and Liverpool collapsed in the summer when the 26-year-old was close to joining Anfield. Discreet negotiations in recent days have led to a new agreement being found.

In recent days, it was claimed that Manchester City were moving for Van Dijk, but the situation is said to have moved quickly since the Blues planned to make a £60million offer, with Southampton extracting an eye-watering fee from Liverpool for him.

Van Dijk’s £75million move to Liverpool will break the world record fee for a defender – held by City right-back Kyle Walker – by an incredible £21million.

Jonny Evans of West Brom and Real Sociedad’s Iñigo Martínez have been mentioned as alternative targets for City, while there have been some reports from Italy that Inter defender Milan Škriniar is on Pep Guardiola’s radar with the interest mutual.

17:45 UPDATE: The number one Liverpool source, Paul Joyce, has spoken and this can probably be considered a done deal now.

18:00 UPDATE: Liverpool have confirmed the deal. On to other targets for City then…

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