The Liverpool Echo’s reaction to Virgil van Dijk’s transfer fiasco is brutal

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At the start of the week, Liverpool looked like they were going to strike fear into their Premier League rivals with two huge deals.

The first transfer would have seen Mohamed Salah brought back to the Premier League from Roma for around £35 million pounds, but it appears that deal has stalled with Liverpool reluctant to pay that much.

The second deal was the one they needed the most. Dutch centre-back Virgil Van Dijk was set to spurn offers from Manchester City and Chelsea to join Liverpool in a deal reportedly worth close to £60 million.

That was until Southampton reported the Reds to the Premier League for tapping up their player. As a result, Jurgen Klopp's men were forced to release the following statement:

"Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs.

"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."

Ouch. From two potential game-changers to nothing in the space of two days.

With such publicly embarrassing failings in the transfer market, it is no surprise that the local paper, the Liverpool Echo, launched a scathing attack on the club for how they have handled their business this week.

Ian Doyle of the paper wrote: "What a complete and utter shambles. A farce. An embarrassment. A humiliation. A joke.

"None of those words, though, can truly do justice to the dramatic u-turn Liverpool have performed regarding their interest in Virgil van Dijk."

Doyle went on to say in a lengthy rant: "Something somewhere has gone wrong. Very, very wrong.

"Let’s be grown up about this for a moment. Transfers are a grey area, approaches are made that skirt the very limits of what is acceptable.

"All van Dijk’s suitors would have, in some indirect manner, had the ear of the player.

"But for Liverpool to retreat so rapidly when Southampton approached the Premier League to investigate an illegal approach suggests the Reds have not so much edged as leapt over the boundaries."

And he would be exactly correct. Considering Liverpool are already serving a two-year ban from signing academy players after 'tapping up' a 12-year-old from Stoke, they must have really feared the consequences.

The paper has branded this as one of the most embarrassing moments in the club's 125-year history - do you agree?

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