Southampton have signed Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk for £11.5 million, after he finalised a five year deal with the English Premier League side.
Speaking to the official Southampton website, following his transfer, van Dijk said: “I’m delighted. It was a very easy decision to join this club.
“This is a very ambitious club, who have been doing very well in the last couple of years. 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.
“I know it’s an ambitious club – they have been through a lot throughout the years. They are trying to play football and that’s something that really attracted me.
“I’m so excited. I hope to settle in really quick, get everything around football sorted, start playing and enjoying it because the most important thing in football is to have fun and enjoy every day.”
Van Dijk will join former Celtic team mates Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama at St.Mary’s, rounding up the transfer fees that the English side have paid Celtic over the past two years to £34 million.
The Dutchman paid tribute to the Celtic fans and the club, in a statement released via Celtic’s website, van Dijk added: “I would like to thank all the Celtic fans for the magnificent support they have given me during my time at the club.
“Celtic is a brilliant football club, it will always be in my heart and I will always be a Celtic supporter myself. I know Celtic did not want me to leave and wanted to extend my contract. The club did everything to keep me and I appreciate that but I felt the time was right for a new challenge in the English Premier League.
“I thank everyone at the club, the manager and all the staff and I wish Celtic and the fans the very best for the future.”
The 24-year-old started his career with Willem II before signing for Groningen on a free transfer in 2011. He was with Groningen for two seasons before making the move to Celtic in 2013 for £2.6 million, where he made 112 appearances in all competitions scoring 15 times. Winning two league titles, a Scottish Cup and represented the Scottish champions in the Champions League and the Europa League.