Earlier this week, it seemed as though Liverpool were on the verge of signing Virgil van Dijk for around £60 million.
A couple of days later and Liverpool have issued an official apology to Southampton and have withdrawn their interest in the Dutchman.
So, what has gone wrong?
Well, reports on Tuesday suggested that the Saints had reported Liverpool to the Premier League for the way they had pursued the defender.
Nobody thought that Southampton’s complaints would genuinely end Liverpool’s hopes of signing their man.
Why Liverpool withdrew their interest
But 24 hours later and the deal is dead in the water.
Sam Wallace in the Telegraph 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.”
What Liverpool need to do now
So does that mean Liverpool have no chance of signing Van Dijk now?
Well, not necessarily.
Wallace goes on to explain that “A world-record offer could possibly make them reconsider” but also insists that “This summer the mood [at Southampton] is very different to previous years.”
You can't blame the South Coast club for putting up a fight when Liverpool came calling once again with as many as five players making the switch in recent years.
And with Southampton crying foul, Liverpool had very little alternative but to take a step back.
Of course, with Liverpool already being handed an Academy transfer ban, they simply can’t risk another punishment from the Premier League.
But, if they really want Van Dijk, maybe they should test Southampton’s resolve with an even bigger bid.
They probably shouldn’t contact Van Dijk before speaking to Southampton first, though.
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