By Alex Stevens

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, according to a report.

Read Liverpool claim the Merseyside giants have reached a verbal agreement with the centre-back, 25, over a transfer that will cost a club-record sum.

It is said that two sources with knowledge of the situation state that Van Dijk has agreed to join Liverpool if they secure a top-four Premier League finish.

Read Liverpool report that the 6ft 5in man mountain has already spoken with Anfield manager Jurgen Klopp about he role he would have and the Germain’s vision of the club in the future.

Liverpool are happy to meet Southampton’s £50million valuation of the player, which would comfortably smash the club-record £38million fee the five-times European Cup winners paid for Sadio Mane last summer.

The latest Van Dijk news comes 24 hours after Scottish Sun reported that Chelsea are confident they have won the race for his signature in this summer’s transfer window.

Read Liverpool add the caveat that Liverpool are yet to agree a fee with Southampton for the signing of the player, which shows there are still a number of hurdles to be overcome before the deal can be signed off.

Van Dijk is recovering from an ankle injury that has sidelined him since late January, forcing him to miss the Southampton’s last 11 league fixtures.

But he has made a huge impact at St Mary’s Stadium and is widely regarded as one of the outstanding centre-backs in the Premier League.

Van Dijk has made 68 appearances for Southampton after a similarly successful spell at Celtic, where he played a mammoth 115 matches in just two seasons.

Liverpool have prised a vast number of players from the Saints in the last three years, with Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Rickie Lambert joining Mane in making the well-trodden journey to Anfield.

In other Liverpool news, Klopp is confident of signing the next Gareth Bale for a bargain price of just £10million as the deal of the summer edges closer.

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