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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool close in on Kuyt

Liverpool are poised to sign Holland striker Dirk Kuyt from Feyenoord after agreeing a fee for the 26-year-old.

Providing the deal goes through, it will complete a summer-long search for a top-class striker by manager Rafael Benitez who has seen Fernando Morientes and Djibril Cisse leave the club.

Liverpool did not reveal details of the fee in today's announcement, however they appear to have beaten Newcastle in the race to land Kuyt, who played for Holland at the World Cup.

Kuyt played for Holland in last night's 4-0 win over Republic of Ireland in Dublin and after the match hinted he was on the brink of joining Liverpool.

Today he said: 'For me, Liverpool is sure to be the dream club I was looking for.

'There was more interest from abroad, but for me there was nothing of the calibre of Liverpool, a brilliant club with an enormous reputation, fantastic support and a fabulous history. It is an honour to play for a club like that.'

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder and chairman Freddy Shepherd flew to last night's match in Dublin in an effort to contact Kuyt, who they had earmarked as a strike partner for Shola Ameobi.

However, according to Feyenoord chairman Jorien van den Herik, it was always Kuyt's ambition to move to Anfield.

Van den Herik told the club's website: 'We did everything we could to keep Dirk at Feyenoord.

'We went a long way to doing that and Dirk was open to that, but we knew that the chance was he would leave if his dream club came in. Liverpool is his dream club.

'Many clubs have tried to contact Dirk over the recent period, but he's said 'no' to clubs every time because they were not appealing enough despite there being many renowned clubs among them. That characterises Dirk's attitude: either Feyenoord or my dream club.'

According to Feyenoord, Kuyt has agreed a four-year contract.

'All parties have kept their promises,' said Van den Herik. 'And the response was always no up to now, but when Liverpool came knocking with a serious offer we knew that a transfer was an option.

'It is a pity for Feyenoord, but we do not begrudge him this step. We have to be thankful to Dirk for his effort and loyalty to Feyenoord and its supporters. He deserves respect and a big farewell from Feyenoord and we hope that he returns to De Kuip after his foreign career.'

Kuyt was due to undertake his medical in Liverpool today.

The striker began his career with Utrecht but attracted Feyenoord's interested after netting 20 goals in the 2002-03 season.

Since joining the Rotterdam club in summer 2003, he has netted 71 goals in 101 league matches.