Saints plan to reinvest their world record £75m fee for Virgil van Dijk in new signings, but are unlikely to spend all the cash in January.

The Daily Echo understands that the club’s owners have sanctioned that the huge fee they will get from Liverpool will go back into the playing squad.

But the club are also believed to be keen to try and temper expectations of a lavish spending spree in the coming weeks.

Though they are committed to spending cash in January to try and resurrect their season, the board are understood to feel that splashing out all the money at a time when transfer fees will be hugely inflated may not be the most sensible plan.

Instead they will and strengthen in a few key areas in a bid to give Mauricio Pellegrino a much need shot in the arm for the second half of the campaign, with a relegation battle looming on the horizon.

Saints confirmed last night that van Dijk will be sold to Liverpool when the transfer window opens on January 1.

The Daily Echo understands that Liverpool will pay around £70m up front, with a further £5m in add-ons.

Celtic, to whom Saints paid £13m for van Dijk just two-and-a-half years ago, are thought to have a sizeable sell-on clause that will reduce the money coming into St Mary’s by about £7.5m.

The sale of the 26-year-old brings to an end a long running saga.

Liverpool have been chasing van Dijk for a number of months, but a potential deal hit the buffers in the summer when the clubs fell out over accusations the Reds had tapped up the Dutch centre half.

Van Dijk made clear his desire to leave Saints, for whom he has played 80 times, and was left out of the team until the transfer window closed.

He returned to the squad having not played since picking up an injury in January, but has not rediscovered his best form for Saints, who have decided to cash in, relieving themselves of a massive distraction and bolstering the coffers for January signings.

In a statement, the club said: "Southampton Football Club can confirm it has reached an agreement with Liverpool over the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.

"Southampton have agreed a fee that will set a new world-record for a defender.

"The club wishes Virgil well in his future when the deal is completed on January 1st 2018."

Van Dijk, who has been left out of the Saints squad for the last two matches, also issued a statement, which said: "Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player!

"Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football!

"I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in years to come.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, the manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton.

"I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything.

"Thank you for the messages of support. I’m now looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting started #YNWA"