We don’t particularly enjoy writing about our (so far) failed pursuit of Virgil van Dijk much; probably as little as you enjoy reading about it – but there’s been an update which really emphasises how badly we messed up.
Our friends at Anfield HQ recently got an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Solent’s Adam Blackmore, who suggests that it wasn’t just local Merseyside reporters who were informed by Liverpool that we’d won the race for Southampton’s Dutchman.
Painstakingly, Blackmore suggests that if Liverpool hadn’t have bragged so publicly about contacting the defender, the Saints may have been willing to sell.
“It wasn’t just Merseyside journalists that were briefed, there were a number of nationals as well,” he began. “But whilst that was a less than subtle display of chest-thumping, I think the biggest issue was the wording that implied VVD had chosen Liverpool. And all this before an approach had been made to talk to the player.
“It was unnecessary and they may well have done the deal had they kept everything in-house and knuckled down to negotiate the deal with Saints.”
As we all know, Southampton were furious following the announcement that the 25-year-old had chosen us ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City and reported us to the Premier League for illegally approaching him.
This resulted in Liverpool publicly pulling out of the race to sign him to avoid any disciplinary action, much to the fury of the fanbase.
Interestingly, Mo Salah was contacted before we’d settled on a fee with Roma and Naby Keita has agreed terms already – but because of our history of buying Southampton’s players and the arrogance we showed by boasting to the media of our achievement – they felt enough was enough.
We can’t see us securing Van Dijk now and will surely have to move for a different centre-back instead.