Liverpool’s failed pursuit of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk has to go down as one of the club’s most embarrassing moments in recent memory.
The Reds were in a prime position to land the Dutch international. Van Dijk’s preferred destination was Anfield - ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City - but, when Southampton alleged they had made an illegal approach, Liverpool decided to end their interest.
“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,” a statement on the club’s website 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.”
Ex-Liverpool defender John Arne Riise labelled it “embarrassing” on Twitter, while Jamie Carragher’s assessment was disappointed by his former club’s decision to withdraw their interest.
“FFS! Only person at Liverpool who should apologise is the person who fed the story he wanted to come to LFC when no fee had been agreed,” Carragher wrote on Twitter.
Liverpool have identified an alternative
Sky Italy reported that Liverpool have turned their attentions towards signing Lazio and Holland defender Stefan de Vrij, who is valued at £30 million - half the amount Southampton wanted for Van Dijk.
But Jurgen Klopp might not be done with the Saints just yet.
Liverpool want a different Saints star
Southampton have becoming something of a feeder club for Liverpool in recent years. The list of players that have moved from St Mary’s to Anfield is extensive - Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane have all made the switch - and, according to The Times, Klopp is planning to raid the south coast club again.
They claim that Liverpool are interested in signing Dusan Tadic, who is understood to have a release clause of around £13m.
Tadic is keen on the move
Good news for Liverpool, then. This means there shouldn’t be any complications in their pursuit of Tadic, unlike with Van Dijk.
According to a source close to Tadic, 28, the playmaker would be keen on the move. Tadic reportedly became disillusioned with Claude Puel’s management last season and it’s unlikely he will reject the chance to play in the Champions League.
This could be the clearest evidence yet that Liverpool’s attempts to sign Mohamed Salah from Roma are heading nowhere.
Who would be a better signing: Tadic or Salah? Let us know in the comments section below!
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