Liverpool appeared to be on the verge of signing Virgil van Dijk, one of the Premier League’s most highly-rated centre-backs, earlier this week.
It was reported by BBC Sport on Monday that despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester City, the Netherlands international wanted to join the Reds after Jurgen Klopp made his signing a top priority.
Liverpool were expected to spend over £50 million for the 25-year-old - and as much as £60 million, a world-record fee for a defender - while also making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
According to various reports, Van Dijk was poised to earn a staggering £200,000 a week following the completion of his move to Anfield from St Mary’s.
However, Southampton have now thrown a major spanner in the works by reporting Liverpool to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach for the Dutchman, according to BBC Radio Solent.
Southampton are furious with Liverpool
Saints are adamant they don’t need to sell Van Dijk and are furious with Liverpool because of what they perceive as a deliberate attempt to unsettle their player.
Southampton, per the BBC’s report, are ready to reject an initial offer from the Merseyside outfit.
The Mirror reveal more details about Klopp's alleged role
The Mirror have now revealed additional details about Klopp’s alleged role in the ‘tapping up’ of Van Dijk - and it doesn’t make for good reading for the charismatic German coach.
It’s understood the defender was flown to Blackpool for a meeting with the Liverpool boss.
The meeting reportedly saw the Reds attempt to persuade Van Dijk that his future should be at Anfield.
Following the unauthorised meet-up, the Mirror claim that Klopp then continued to message the player regularly.
The punishment Chelsea were handed in 2005
The transfer of Van Dijk to Liverpool is now in severe jeopardy - and to make matters worse for the Merseyside outfit, there’s a very real chance they could face a stiff punishment.
ESPN journalist Alex Shaw revealed on Tuesday that Chelsea were handed a £300,000 fine and a suspended three-point deduction after being found guilty of tapping up Ashley Cole in 2005.
Cole was fined £100,000, while Jose Mourinho had to pay £200,000.
Liverpool now face a nervy wait
That Liverpool were slapped with a two-year ban preventing them from signing Academy players from other English clubs back in April after making an illegal approach to sign a 12-year-old from Stoke City means they’re already on thin ice with the Premier League.
They now face an anxious wait to discover how the Premier League will judge their pursuit of Van Dijk.
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