Virgil Van Dijk .

Liverpool's owners ordered apology over Virgil Van Dijk saga

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Football News

Liverpool fans had every right to get excited ahead of the summer transfer window.

Barring a disaster in the qualifying stages, the Reds will be playing Champions League football next season and should once again be able to lure some world-class players to Anfield.

It's been a long time since the club were last able to beat Chelsea and Manchester City to their transfer targets, but that's exactly what looked set to happen with Virgil van Dijk.

The story has been well-documented: Van Dijk was keen, Southampton were ready to sell - but then came an apparently illegal approach from Liverpool.

The Saints reported them to the Premier League, and Liverpool had to apologise and withdraw their interest.

It's been incredibly frustrating for the Merseysiders. Klopp has had to experiment with so many different centre-back partnerships over the past couple of seasons, and Van Dijk could have been a rock in the defence.

The other issue is that it's an open secret that many clubs speak to players to gauge their interest in a move before making an official approach to their club.

However, even if that's true, Liverpool have been left looking rather silly.

Liverpool's owners directed apology 

A statement on their official website expressed "regret" and confirmed they had "ended any interest in the player".

It's an almost unprecedented announcement, but it's probably wise as it should help them to avoid any sanctions from the football authorities.

Yet, that wasn't their only concern. It's being reported in the Mirror that it was the club's American owners who insisted on the formal apology because they didn't want the affair to tarnish Liverpool's reputation.

Norwich City v Southampton - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

They personally intervened, therefore, to protect the club's sporting, respectable image, which has already been tarnished somewhat by their Academy ban.

In some people's eyes, the damage is already done. Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier expressed his disappointment on talkSPORT, saying:

"I remember when they [Liverpool] dealt with transfers with a bit more class."

The Reds' board might be relieved to know that as a result of the saga, it's now very unlikely that they'll be forking out £60million to sign the Dutchman. 

Has this saga damaged Liverpool's reputation? Have your say in the comments. 

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