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'It wasn't a big issue' - Van Dijk insists world-record fee was never a distraction

11:23 PM EDT 8/13/19
Harry Maguire Virgil van Dijk Leicester Liverpool
The defender played down the significance of transfer fees ahead of Liverpool's clash against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk insisted his £75 million ($91m) price tag was never an issue after the world-record fee for a defender was broken earlier this month. 

Van Dijk made the move from Southampton to Liverpool in January 2018, the huge transfer fee initially raising eyebrows. 

But the Netherlands international helped the Premier League giants win the Champions League last season and has emerged as a Ballon d'Or contender under manager Jurgen Klopp.  

However, the world-record fee was broken after Manchester United paid Leicester City £80m ($96m) for England centre-back Harry Maguire earlier this month. 

Van Dijk, whose side face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday, played down the significance of the fees. 

"It wasn't a big issue for me. It's something you don't have an influence on," he told a news conference. 

"It happens, it's the market and the only thing you can do is put your head down and start playing, give everything for the team. 

"That's what I did and it worked so far, I'll just try to keep doing that, keep progressing and be a better player." 

European champions Liverpool will go into their clash against Chelsea as favourites, having opened their Premier League season with a 4-1 win over Norwich City as Frank Lampard's men were humbled 4-0 by United. 

Van Dijk is eager for Jurgen Klopp's side to win the trophy for Liverpool for the first time since 2005. 

"I think it could work in both favours, they know us, we know them, but the most important thing is it's one game, one final, anything could happen," he said. 

"We know at the start of the season everyone's coming back from having a break. We are ready, we want to win that trophy and we're going to do everything that's possible to hold the trophy." 

The Reds have a packed schedule to open the campaign, having lost the Community Shield to Manchester City on August 4 ahead of the start of the Premier League season.  

Saturday will see the club return to league action to face Southampton, with a match against Arsenal on the cards on August 24.