Liverpool have snapped up 25-year-old Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren on a five-year deal for a fee in the region of £20million.

He joins former Southampton colleagues Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert at the Merseyside.

The Croatian defender becomes the Reds’ fifth signing ahead of the upcoming 2014/15 season, as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his squad ahead of their return to the Champions League.

Lille’s Belgian striker Divock Origi is also understood to have undergone a medical with Liverpool and is expected to sign for the club imminently.

Lovren becomes the most expensive defender in Liverpool’s history with the fee exceeding the £18m the Reds paid Paris Saint-Germain for 24-year-old France defender Mamadou Sakho last year.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here. I’m proud and can’t wait to start. I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club,” Lovren told Liverpool’s official website after finalising his move to Anfield following a successful medical.

“After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: ‘One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool.

“The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 per cent on the pitch.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers added: “This is a very important signing for us and I’m delighted it’s completed so Dejan can join up with us on our US tour,

“He is a commanding and powerful presence and clearly has leadership skills, which is important; he fits the profile of player we are looking for.”

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