In a public apology issued to Southampton, Liverpool FC have confirmed their interest in Virgil Van Dijk is over… or is it?
A statement of apology, released on the club’s official website just past 6.30pm on June 7th, saw Liverpool FC confirm their interest in Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk is over. The club expressed their regret over media speculation regarding the Dutchman’s future and sought to apologise to Southampton for “any misunderstandings.”
The full statement reads: “Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs.
We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil Van Dijk. We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.“
This incredible turnaround comes just 48 hours after it was all but confirmed that Van Dijk would be heading to Merseyside this summer having chosen to play for the Reds over Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. The Dutch centre-back was said to be keen on playing for Jürgen Klopp and excited by the progress made by the German’s current Liverpool squad this season.
Southampton’s board were said to be infuriated by the public nature of these suggestions and complained to the FA that no official approach had been made. The instant retraction of our interest implies the Reds know they indeed crossed a line – big time.
This news will come as a huge blow to Jürgen Klopp with Van Dijk believed to be his number one defensive target this summer and a player that the German was more than willing to sanction a colossal £60m bid for in order to secure his transfer. However, is this really the end of it?
If Jürgen Klopp is that desperate to land the Dutchman and the player himself is itching for the move to happen, it would hardly come as any surprise to see the player attempt to force a transfer. Naturally, matters such as a transfer request can turn real ugly, real fast – remember Raheem Sterling? But it may still provide the club with an avenue in which they can sign the Dutch centre-back.
Southampton are also currently caught in a period of transition, with Claude Puel set to be sacked by the club after just one season at the helm. This uncertainty around the club may just contribute to Van Dijk’s itch for a move becoming too much to ignore.
Of course, this may just be me trying to be as positive as possible about this whole situation and you can call me crazy but I just can’t see this being the end of it.
Either way, the club need to recover fast and prove to the fans that they do in fact know how to handle high-profile transfer dealings because so far, this summer has been nothing short of a shambles.