Southampton have announced the signing of defender Virgil van Dijk on a five-year contract from Scottish Premier League powerhouses Glasgow Celtic.
The Saints have been in the market for another centre-back since Toby Alderweireld opted for Spurs over Ronald Koeman’s side, and now look to have got their man in the 24-year-old Dutchman.
“This is a very ambitious club, who have been doing very well in the last couple of years,” van Dijk said. “It’s a great place to be and it’s the right step for me. For me now to get the opportunity to play in the Premier League is unbelievable and I will enjoy it.”
Director of football Les Reed added: “We’re delighted to have finally got Virgil into the club after long and lengthy negotiations.
“Virgil has signed a long-term contract, so clearly sees a strong future here with us. He’s young, hungry and wants to prove himself.
“We’ve had Virgil in our system for a long time and have explored the possibility of signing him in previous transfer windows, and this year we had a really strong opportunity to do it.
“The Champions League had an effect on the moment of release, which we were aware of, so it was about keeping our focus and doing our due diligence before eventually getting him over the line.
“He’s still a young man but a very mature young man who has played a very good level of football at Celtic and in Europe. He’s had an excellent upbringing and still has a lot of time ahead of him.”