Fulham full back Steve Finnan has signed for Liverpool this morning for £3.5m.

The Republic of Ireland international helped the Whites establish themselves in the top flight after an absence of more than three decades and was voted into the PFA’s Premier League team of the year having not missed a minute in Fulham’s league campaign. He helped Jean Tigana’s side reach the FA Cup semi-finals and win the Intertoto Cup before returning from injury to steer them clear of the drop zone when the Frenchmen was succeeded by Chris Coleman.

Finnan, who moved to Craven Cottage from Notts County for £350,000 in November 1998, made 209 appearances for Fulham and won both the Second Division and First Division titles with Fulham. He becomes Liverpool’s first summer signing after Gerard Houllier won the race to sign the attacking full-back following his outstanding displays at last summer’s World Cup. Finnan will team up with former Fulham assistant manager Christian Damiano at Anfield after Tigana’s former number two accepted a position in Houllier’s backroom staff.

Coleman is prioritising the recruitment of a right back this summer with Fulham ready to allow Abdes Ouaddoh, who deputised for Finnan at full back last term, to remain on loan at Rennes for another year.