In an astonishing official statement, Liverpool have apologised to Southampton ‘for any misunderstanding’ regarding Virgil van Dijk and have publicly ended their interest in the 25-year-old centre-back.
Van Dijk had seemed certain to move to Anfield, with multiple reports stating that he had chosen Liverpool and that the clubs only had to agree a fee.
Southampton were furious at Liverpool’s ‘illegal approach’ and planned to report them to the Premier League. This appears to have rattled Liverpool who have quickly moved to fix the issue and end their interest in one of their primary targets.
This could be good news for both Manchester City and Chelsea, who were both said to be rivaling Jurgen Klopp’s side for Van Dijk. His £60 million fee is very prohibitive – a world record for a centre-back – but both clubs are considering their options for that position and the Dutch international has proven himself in recent seasons.
City have already been installed as the bookies’ favourites to sign Van Dijk, should he leave the Saints this summer, with odds as short as 8/11.