Having already been handed an Academy transfer ban for illegally approaching a youngster from Stoke City, Liverpool simply couldn’t afford another investigation from the Premier League.
So, when Southampton reported them for their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, the Reds had very little alternative but to withdraw their interest.
"Liverpool would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs,” a statement on Wednesday night read.
"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."
While the statement seemed clear that Liverpool were no longer attempting to sign Van Dijk, did it mean they would avoid punishment?
After all, we still hadn’t heard from Southampton or the Premier League.
Just because they apologised, does that mean Liverpool will escape any punishment?
The Premier League's decision
Well, Sky Sports are reporting this afternoon that they will.
They say that Southampton are happy with Liverpool’s apology and consider the matter closed.
As for the Premier League, they confirmed they were looking into the matter. However, as far as they’re concerned, “the apology is the end of the matter and they are unlikely to take any further action.”
Liverpool can breathe a huge sigh of relief if that’s the case.
Representatives from both clubs - as well as the Premier League - are set to meet face-to-face at a Premier League board meeting on Thursday afternoon as they attempt to put an end to the dispute.
Whether that means Liverpool can attempt to sign Van Dijk once again once the dust settles remains to be seen.
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