Last night, Liverpool Football Club released an official statement to say that all interest in Virgil Van Dijk would be dropped but it could be that the Reds are still in with a chance of signing the Dutchman.
On Monday, Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an illegal approach to Virgil Van Dijk with Jürgen Klopp being accused of “tapping up” the defender. It would appear as though the German coach met Van Dijk in private and has been in regular contact ever since to convince the defender to move to Liverpool.
Southampton learnt of Van Dijk’s intention to move to Liverpool via the media, with reports indicating that he had agreed to join the Merseyside club. The South Coast club took the drastic measure of reporting Liverpool to the Premier League for their inappropriate advances.
As a result, Liverpool released a statement last night to confirm that all interest in Van Dijk has been dropped.
That being said, reports today from The Telegraph speculate that there could be further developments in this summer transfer saga.
Sam Wallace of The Telegraph writes that Liverpool could be in with a chance of signing Virgil Van Dijk if a world-record transfer fee is submitted.
He wrote, “Southampton were well aware that their player was being tapped up, but when multiple stories emerged this week that he had decided to join Liverpool, the view at St Mary’s was that enough was enough.
“Their evidence was so compelling that Liverpool had no option but to back down.”
Liverpool’s statement indicates that all interaction between the South Coast club for this summer will be over. Wallace, however, believes that money could sway the minds of those at Southampton.
Wallace continues, “A world-record offer could possibly make them reconsider” but also says that “This summer the mood [at Southampton] is very different to previous years.”
Frankly, Liverpool have been naïve and displayed an all too familiar lack of tact when dealing with transfers. If reports are to be believed, and Klopp did meet privately with Van Dijk then he needs to share the blame because he really ought to know better.
Two days ago, Liverpool were on the cusp of signing their top transfer target for the summer and now it seems most likely that the Dutchman will need to hand in a transfer request in order to get a move to Liverpool.
Van Dijk’s desire to play on Merseyside is the only thing playing into the Reds’ hands at this point but Liverpool’s statement leaves very little room to manoeuvre in the event Van Dijk submits a written transfer request.
Liverpool might need to look elsewhere and begin the search for alternatives to Van Dijk.