Southampton fear Virgil Van Dijk met Jurgen Klopp without permission before the player decided he wanted to join Liverpool.
According to a piece in The Times, the Saints are unhappy at the suggestion Van Dijk has chosen Liverpool as he has given them no indication he wants to head north to Merseyside.
It was reported on Tuesday that the St Mary’s club are furious after they learned that Liverpool have made what they believe is an illegal approach to their centre back.
News emerged on Monday that Van Dijk has his heart set on a move to Anfield and Liverpool believed they had fought off competition for his signature from both Chelsea and Manchester City.
Klopp has been pivotal in persuading Van Dijk to turn his back on interest elsewhere and decide on Anfield on his next destination, but Southampton are adamant that they’ve had no direct contact from Liverpool regarding the Dutchman’s availability and, as such, believe the Reds’ contact with Van Dijk and his representatives qualifies as an illegal approach.
Reports on Monday suggested that Liverpool were happy to pay Van Dijk around £200,000 a week, with the lure of playing for Jurgen Klopp said to be pivotal in the 25-year-old’s decision. No bid had been made to Southampton, but talks were expected to start this week with the Saints holding out for a reported £60m transfer fee.
Southampton are under no pressure to let Van Dijk go, even if Liverpool are willing to pay £60m for the defender.
The involvement of the premier league doesn’t mean a ‘tapping up’ investigation but it will try to get validity.
This one is set to rumble on and on.
Written by Oliver Bond