Liverpool sign Rickie Lambert from Southampton

Liverpool have announced their first signing of the summer after securing Southampton striker Rickie Lambert for a reported fee in the region of £4million.

The 32-year-old striker has signed a two-year deal at Anfield, who was released by the Reds in 1997.

Lambert told the club’s website: “I can’t believe it. I’ve loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago – and I haven’t stopped loving it since.

“I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn’t think the chance would come.

“I know how big Liverpool are – and it means everything to me – but I know what is important; I know it’s what I do on the pitch and the minutes I play. I know that’s what matters, and that’s what I’ll be focused on.”

The England international has scored 106 goals in 207 Premier League appearances for the Saints and remains the club’s top goalscorer since he joined Southampton in 2009 except the last season.

Lambert is currently in Miami on his international duty with England for the FIFA World Cup 2014.

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