London: Premier League giants Liverpool on Thursday completed the signing of highly-rated midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for a fee believed to be around £20 million ($32.75m).
The 20-year-old Henderson put pen to paper on what the Merseyside club described as a "long-term deal", having agreed personal terms and visited their Melwood training complex before undergoing a medical.
Henderson's signing will be the third major transfer since Kenny Dalglish took over as manager in January, following the acquisitions of Andy Carroll and Uruguayan international Luis Suarez.
Henderson has been a key figure for Sunderland in the past two seasons, and made his senior England debut against France in November last year.
He is the latest part of a transfer strategy that will see Liverpool target young talent rather than established stars, reports said.
The club are also reportedly chasing Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam, 25, and Ipswich's teenage striker Connor Wickham, 18.
Liverpool have also been linked with Aston Villa's England international Ashley Young, although Manchester United are currently favourites to secure the attacking midfielder's signature.
"Obviously it's hard to leave your local club. I'm a Sunderland lad, I've supported them all my life. But I'm really looking forward to the future now and obviously this is a massive opportunity for me. I'm really excited by it," said Henderson.
"My family are all Sunderland fans as well, and it's pretty tough because I've had some great years there. I've been there since I was seven and I'll definitely miss it but, like I say, I'm looking forward to playing for Liverpool now."
Henderson said he was relishing the opportunity to play alongside Steven Gerrard.
"He is one of the best players in the world, you want to be playing with him and training with him to try and improve yourself as a player," he added
"Steven has been a massive, massive player for Liverpool for years now and he still is. Hopefully I can learn a lot from him."
It had been thought Liverpool striker David Ngog might travel in the opposite direction as part of the transfer.
He remains at Anfield for now, but Reds director of football Damien Comolli has indicated the 22-year-old could still be headed for the Stadium of Light.
"Sunderland have had a strong interest in David, so we've agreed to let David speak to Sunderland about his future to see if he's interested in going there," Comolli said.
"They've expressed a strong interest, so we'll see what's next for him."