Liverpool have agreed a fee of just over £11m with Sunderland for the Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Weeks of negotiation concluded with a deal for the 25-year-old, who is now scheduled to travel to Merseyside for a medical and discussion over personal terms early next week.
Mignolet joined Sunderland from Sint-Truiden three summers ago for £2m and swiftly established himself as one of the club's outstanding players. Although he has two years remaining on his contract at the Stadium of Light and Paolo Di Canio, the Sunderland manager, is reluctant to lose him, Mignolet wants to travel to next year's World Cup in Brazil as Belgium's first-choice keeper. He believes joining Liverpool will enhance such ambitions.
Meanwhile, the Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto has said he will use the success of Spaniards in the Premier League to motivate him as he prepares to join his compatriots in England with a move to Anfield. The 20-year-old is expected to complete a medical on Merseyside after the two clubs settled on a fee, believed to be in the region of £6m with potential add-ons.
"I'm very much looking forward to it," Alberto said. "I'm going to Liverpool, a new culture, a new language, I have to adapt quickly but I'm really looking forward to this big step. There are many Spaniards in England and they are doing quite well. Seeing all of them succeeding there motivates me even more."
Alberto, who came though the ranks at Sevilla, spent last season on loan at Barcelona B, scoring 11 times in the second division, but the Catalans did not take up their option to sign him permanently.
He admits, however, it will be a wrench to leave his hometown club: "I've always said that this is the club where I grew up, it's my home. I owe a lot to Sevilla, although I'm leaving a little hurt because I haven't had the chance to show what I can do in the Primera Division.
"It seemed I was going to return to Sevilla but the Liverpool thing came up and it's a very important step. I've had to take a difficult and important decision and I hope I've got it right."