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Nicol: Southampton "Cheeky" over Van Dijk Complaint

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The former Liverpool defender believes that Southampton have taken a hypocritical stance on the club's star player.

Southampton FC v Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC - UEFA Europa League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Amidst tenuous rumours that Chelsea have made a big for Virgil van Dijk—a player who rejected the Premier League champions along with Manchester City in favour of a move to Liverpool—Steve Nicol criticised Southampton's stance on Liverpool's conduct.

The Liverpool legend was asked about the transfer saga that annoyed him the most, and naturally, his former club's pursuit of the Premier League's defensive king of the air took centre stage.

"Every single team who has ever signed a player has tapped them up, everybody does it," Nicol said. "The fact that Southampton have got the cheek to complain, because you know they've done it.

"That's what happens, everyone knows it happens and to say anything else is just stupid. Plus the fact that we need him badly, the price is too high."

Whatever one thinks of Nicol's views on Liverpool and football in general, it is difficult to argue with the assessment that Van Dijk is an absolute priority for Liverpool. However, Liverpool went too far in publicising the pursuit of the player and were forced into an embarrassing apology for doing so.

Still, Southampton have a transfer to negotiate that will net the club a world record for a defender who wants to play for a considerably bigger club. Reality will bite, and when it does, Liverpool should be waiting.