Nathaniel Clyne
Liverpool have completed the signing of Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton.Getty Images

Liverpool confirmed the signing of Nathaniel Clyne, the Southampton right-back who had previously attracted attention from fierce rivals Manchester United.

Clyne, 24, emerged as one of the Saints' key players following a move from Crystal Palace in July 2012 and cemented his place in the senior England squad last term after making 35 Premier League appearances under Ronald Koeman.

His performances at St Mary's led to speculation that Manchester United were keen to sign him this summer. Although previous reports from the Press Association suggested they had in fact ended that particular pursuit last month, Louis van Gaal appeared to renew his interest earlier in June according to ESPN after key target Dani Alves elected to remain at Barcelona.

Also keen to bolster their defensive options, Liverpool, who opted against offering Glen Johnson an extension to his expiring contract, saw an initial offer of £10m (€14m, $15.7m) for Clyne rejected but succeeded with a further bid believed to be worth £12.5m with a small portion of that fee dependent upon future appearances according to The Guardian.

"I'm delighted and it's a dream move for me to come here and play for such a big club with all of its history. I can't wait to get started," Clyne told Liverpool's official website.

"As soon as Liverpool showed their interest in me, I was happy and just wanted the deal to go through. The gaffer has shown a lot of interest in me and this is a place where I can improve as a player, I think. It's definitely a good opportunity to come here and try to fulfil my potential.

"I've played at Anfield before and know what the atmosphere is all about. It's a great atmosphere and will make me rise to the challenge. I'm really looking forward to it and hopefully it can push me on to putting on good performances."

Clyne is the sixth player signed by Brendan Rodgers since Liverpool suffered a dismal end to the 2014/15 season, with Burnley's Danny Ings, experienced Manchester City midfielder James Milner, goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, Charlton defender Joe Gomez and Brazil international Roberto Firmino having all agreed to join the club.

Although Southampton had not given up on the hope of retaining the player, Koeman has already successfully secured an adequate replacement with Cedric Soares signing from Sporting Lisbon on a four-year contract on 18 June.