Liverpool are to make Virgil van Dijk the world's best paid defender with a bumper new deal for the Dutchman this summer according to reports.

The Daily Mirror say that the Dutchman – who is reigning PFA Player of the Year – will be the latest leading Reds star to be rewarded for their amazing performances on the pitch after front three Mohamed Salah , Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all penned lucrative new contracts over the past year.

Van Dijk became the world's most-expensive defender when he joined Liverpool for £75million in January 2018 – after the Reds previously dropped their interest and issued an apology for an approach in the previous transfer window – although that price has subsequently been eclipsed by £80million Manchester United paid Leicester City for Harry Maguire last summer.

Since Van Dijk came to Anfield, he has helped transform Jurgen Klopp's side from being mere contenders – they were beaten in the Champions League final in his first season but finished 25 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League in fourth position – to the most-dominant side in the global game.

Helped by another major defensive reinforcement in the shape of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson , last season's Champions League success has been followed up the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this season while Liverpool, unbeaten in the Premier League having won 26 of their 27 matches to date, are closing in on their first League Championship for 30 years and with a biggest-ever lead at the summit need just 12 more points to clinch the title.

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The article says that such record-breaking success – on and off the pitch ( turnover year on year increased by £78million to £533million ) – has given the Reds the financial muscle to match the biggest payers in world football.