LeBron James joined by Virgil van Dijk and Harvey Elliott after major sports management deal

LeBron James is a major Liverpool fan and even has his own jersey edition.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Kevork Djansezian)

Liverpool stars Virgil van Dijk and Harvey Elliott will now join LeBron James as a client of Klutch Sports Group following a major business deal.

It was announced on Monday that ROOF, a major European soccer agency, had been bought by U.S. company United Talent Agency. UTA has merged with fellow American agency Klutch Sports Group, who manage some of the best athletes including NBA stars LeBron and Draymond Green.

LeBron already has a link to Liverpool, as a shareholder of Fenway Sports Group who own the English soccer team. The NBA legend has also modeled Liverpool's jersey since they switched manufacturers from New Balance to Nike, something LeBron was reportedly involved in.

Van Dijk and Elliott will now be represented by one of the leading global agencies, who in addition to LeBron also manage Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Las Vegas Aces player A'ja Wilson. They won't be the only soccer athletes making the switch, with former Liverpool star Sadio Mane also under their management.

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Arsenal forward Kai Havertz, Roma striker Tammy Abraham, Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry, and Ademola Lookman who recently scored a hat-trick in the Europa League final, will also join up with UTA/Klutch. Rich Paul was the founder of Klutch and actively manages LeBron, who is a long-time friend.

Neil Fewings, managing director of ROOF, said of the deal: "We are delighted to join forces with Rich, Andrew, and their team on this groundbreaking partnership. The unique identity and ideology of KLUTCH / UTA make this a perfect cultural fit with great mutual synergies that will allow us to collaborate on a global scale."

ROOF co-founder Bjorn Bezemer added: "We could not be more energized by this opportunity to work with KLUTCH and UTA. This exciting partnership gives us access to industry-leading resources and expertise to better serve our clients and broaden our reach globally.

Van Dijk and Harvey Elliott are both under the same management.
Van Dijk and Harvey Elliott are both under the same management. -Credit:PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

"With ROOF partners becoming shareholders in one of the most transformational agencies in global sports and entertainment, we are excited to bring our industry-leading football representation to this team." The deal expands the reach of UTA/Klutch, who until now have been dominating the major U.S. sports.

Now they can look to bring top soccer players on board and will look to target the upcoming rising stars in the sport. Despite being bought by U.S. entities, ROOF will still keep its name and staffing, although it is now part of a broader network under the leadership of Paul and Andrew Thau.

LeBron James regularly attends Liverpool games when it doesn't clash with the NBA season.
LeBron James regularly attends Liverpool games when it doesn't clash with the NBA season. -Credit:Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images

"Football (soccer) is the most global and popular sport on the planet, and in charting our path into the game, we’ve searched for a partner who aligns with KLUTCH’s values and takes a similar client-first approach," Paul said. "It was clear very early on that ROOF was the perfect fit.

"Our agencies share the same philosophy, passion, and professional approach to representing the world’s best athletes. Together we look forward to bringing new energy to the beautiful game and its athletes through the lens of empowerment, storytelling, and forward-thinking."