Reds ready to break record to secure Van Dijk

Liverpool look set to break smash their transfer record to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. The south-coast club were reportedly "irritated by what they see as an attempt to unsettle Van Dijk and are ready to reject an official offer".

Southampton's 25-year-old has emerged as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and Reds icon Gerrard has welcomed a move for him.

Last month, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger told Press Association Sport the club could turn down even a £60million bid for Van Dijk.

John Cross of The Mirror reports that Jürgen Klopp flew Van Dijk to Blackpool for a private meeting and has been texting the Dutchman ever since.

It is the metaphorical two-fingered salute Southampton fans have dreamed of seeing their club serve up to Liverpool for the past three summers.

Celtic will get 10 per cent of any fee Southampton receive for van Dijk - due to a clause inserted in the defender's contract when he joined the Saints in August 2015.

However, as reported by BBC Radio Solent, the Reds now have a real headache on their hands as the Saints have reported them over their pursuit of Van Dijk, claiming that they have acted illegally.

The Reds legend stated his belief that the Netherlands worldwide would be "very welcome" at the club if Liverpool managed to see off interest from their Premier League rivals for his signature.

Liverpool have regularly plundered Southampton over recent seasons with former Saints players Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne all now playing at Anfield. Southampton are sick of feeling bullied by the Premier League elite into selling their top stars summer after summer, window after window.

Van Dijk also changed his agent earlier in the season after parting company with Chin International Consultancy to join international group Wasserman. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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