What once was a fruitful (depending on your perspective) business relationship has perhaps soured somewhat this transfer window. Having exchanged so much money in the past (admittedly in one direction), Liverpool and Southampton have entered that awkward relationship phase of pretending not to hear the other’s questions and being extra-friendly with other people, all because of the mishandled Virgil Van Dijk negotiations.
That awkwardness may become a bit more acute this summer, if reports in the Mirror are accurate. It’s no secret that Liverpool are looking for help on the wings before next season, with most of the electronic ink having been spilled in covering the Mohamed Salah dealings with Roma. Liverpool were, however, also recently linked with young Emre Mor of Borussia Dortmund, which would represent an acquisition for the depth chart more than the starting XI.
Mor is reportedly unsatisfied with his playing time at Dortmund, and has requested that he be allowed to seek minutes elsewhere via a loan deal (to which Dortmund appears to be open). Assuming that Liverpool do secure the services of Salah or a comparable target, it seems unlikely that there would be a wealth of minutes for Mor at Anfield, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors of Jürgen Klopp going back to do business with his former employer.
If Liverpool’s interest isn’t completely spurious (and it might be), there may be a Southampton-sized roadblock in the way of a deal, as the Saints are reported to be also interested in taking Mor on loan. This interest might actually make sense, as Southampton winger Dušan Tadić and his club are also in a bit of an awkward phase at the moment. Almost inevitably, Liverpool were among the clubs rumored to be lurking, despite having to stop and apologize over l’affaire Van Dijk.
Among the more optimistic observers, there is a belief that Liverpool’s hopes of securing Van Dijk this summer haven’t completely evaporated, and that the club are biding their time, waiting for the bad vibes to dissipate. If that’s true, ruffling more feathers at St. Mary’s over Mor or Tadić might seem a touch counterproductive, given that Van Dijk is clearly a priority target. At the same time, if Liverpool’s interest in Mor and/or Tadić is real, that may be a dispiriting sign that the club have once again been forced to go to Plan B and Plan C in the market.