England U-19's Joe Gomez signs for Liverpool from Charlton
Liverpool have completed the signing of England Under-19 international Joe Gomez from Charlton for a fee of £3.5 million ($5.6 million) and on a contract until June 2020.
The 18-year-old, who made 21 appearances for Charlton in the Sky Bet Championship last season, has signed a five-year contract with Brendan Rodgers' side.
Liverpool are thought to have beaten off competition from a number of Premier League sides for the highly coveted centre-back, who has been a regular fixture through the England youth age groups.
The Catford-born teenager was part of the England U17 side that won the 2014 European Championships in Malta and is part of the current England U19 squad managed by Sean O'Driscoll.
Charlton CEO Katrien Meire insists the south London club simply couldn't stand in the way when Liverpool declared their interest in signing Gomez.
"It is with a heavy heart that we let him go, but we wish him all the best," she said.
"Joe is a very talented and humble young man and he has proven to be a shining light for our academy and a role model for all of the young players at our club.
"He is another fine example of what our fantastic academy is capable of. Joe goes to Liverpool with our blessing and we wish him luck in what will surely be a very successful career."
Gomez was keen to extend his thanks to everyone at Charlton, where he spent almost eight years coming up through the ranks.
"I've been here since I was 10 years old and it's been a great experience," he said. "The club have always looked after me and I will always be grateful.
"I'm excited for the new challenge at Liverpool and it's an opportunity that I've only been given thanks to the experience that Charlton have given me."
The young defender becomes the fourth Liverpool signing this summer, following the arrivals of James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan. Belgian striker Divock Origi will also link-up with the club after being immediately loaned back to Lille following an £11m ($17.5m) move last summer.
Gomez's arrival could spell the end of Sebastian Coates' Liverpool career. The Uruguayan played a key role in helping Sunderland retain their Premier League status last season and is reportedly a transfer target for Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat.
Liverpool have made a brisk start to recruitment ahead of next season and are also expected to renew their efforts to sign Southampton and England full-back Nathaniel Clyne.