The Southampton defender appeared poised to move to Liverpool in a record-breaking £60 million deal which would have landed Celtic a windall because of a sell-on clause negotiated when the Parkhead club sold the player to Southampton in 2015. The clause is thought to be worth ten per cent of the next transfer fee.
However, Liverpool have now abandoned their hopes of signing Virgil van Dijk and apologised to Southampton for “any misunderstanding” over their interest.
It is understood Saints had not received any contact from Liverpool regarding their defender, yet the Dutch defender apparently indicated an eagerness to become the latest player to swap St Mary’s for Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp is believed to have made Van Dijk his top target, with the chance to work with the Liverpool manager reported to have played a significant role in the player’s decision - information that stuck in the craw at Southampton.
Saints are understood to have asked the Premier League on Tuesday to investigate an alleged illegal approach, which has been followed by Liverpool announcing the end of their pursuit.
“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,” the statement on Liverpool’s official 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.”