Tapping up. The messy conversation that nobody really wants to talk about has surfaced again.
According to various reports, Southampton are preparing to report Liverpool to the Premier League over concerns the Reds have been tapping up Virgil van Dijk.
Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol claims there is no investigation at the moment, simply that “the Premier League are discussing Southampton’s concerns with Liverpool.”
The Mirror believe that Van Dijk was flown to Blackpool for a meeting with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who has since messaged him regularly.
The Dutch defender is said to been ready to snub Manchester City and Chelsea in favour of a move to Anfield, with Southampton holding out for £60 million.
The Saints have sold a number of players to Liverpool in recent years, including Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne, but it’s clear they aren’t willing to make the Reds’ pursuit of Van Dijk a straightforward one.
Liverpool's possible punishment
If Southampton can prove Liverpool are guilty of breaching Premier League rules, they could face a huge fine and a potential ban. Chelsea were fined £300,000 and handed a suspended three-point deduction when they were found guilty of tapping up Ashley Cole.
Southampton sacked Claude Puel
The start of the offseason hasn’t gone smoothly for the Saints, who yesterday sacked Claude Puel after just one season in charge.
Puel led Southampton to eighth in the Premier League and to the EFL Cup final, but his ‘frosty relationship’ with several players has resulted in his dismissal, according to The Sun.
A potential tapping up case and on the hunt for a new manager. Not how Southampton envisioned their summer starting.
Carragher has mocked Southampton on Twitter
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has made his feeling about the Saints potentially reporting his former club clear on Twitter.
The Liverpool legend, in response to a report about Puel’s sacking, tweeted: “Hope they haven’t spoken to another manager!”, clearly mocking Southampton’s decision to speak to the Premier League about Liverpool’s pursuit of Van Dijk.
Is it worth it?
You have to wonder if it’s really worth the effort on Southampton’s part. Especially if Liverpool are prepared to pay them £60m for the 25-year-old, which would make him the most expensive defender in history.
What do you make of Southampton's decision to report Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section below!
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