Why Liverpool's pursuit of Virgil van Dijk really collapsed in the summer

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Liverpool's difficulties keeping a clean sheet proved costly once again on Saturday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp's side mustered their second draw at home within a few days.

Mohamed Salah scored an equaliser three minutes after Scott Arfield had given Burnley a shock first-half lead but the Reds were unable to find the back of the net again from their other 34 shots on goal.

From Liverpool's first eight games of the season, Klopp's men have failed to prevent the opposition scoring just twice.

Their poor defensive record has brought into question the business they missed out on during the summer transfer window, most notably Virgil van Dijk.

It looked like Van Dijk's switch from Southampton was merely a formality at the start of the summer, however, a threat of being reported to the Premier League over their approach for the Dutchman forced Liverpool to apologise and cool their interest.

They were plenty who felt Klopp and co. would still make a last gasp effort to bring the 26-year-old to Merseyside and given they appeared to make little effort to bring another centre-back in, there might be an element of truth in there somewhere.

Of course, Van Dijk tried to help the process too by submitting a transfer request but his attempts did not change the eventual outcome.

However, according to The Times, Liverpool might have been closer to getting their man than most think.

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The Times have claimed that the recently appointed boss at St Mary's, Mauricio Pellegrino, 'would have happily sold Van Dijk' and did nothing to stand in the way of the ex-Saints captain making his preferred move.

Getting the manager's approval was one thing, the board's was a very different matter, though, and they decided it was in the club's best interests to keep hold of their prized asset.

Pellegrino was then left in a difficult predicament with a player he didn't really want, who doesn't really want to be there either.

Crystal Palace v Southampton - Premier League

Nevertheless, Van Dijk made his first appearance of the campaign - also his first since January - in the Saints' 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Whether this latest development will encourage Klopp to go back in for Van Dijk in January, Liverpool fans will have to wait and see.

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