Abandoning the chase for Virgil van Dijk and apologising to Southampton was essentially to avoid any sanctions after an illegal approach for the star defender. It was quite a humbling course of action for Liverpool to take that went as far as ending any further interest in the player. Since then, however, talk has largely centered on finding a way to bring Van Dijk to Anfield.
Mohamed Salah is now a Liverpool player, Naby Keïta reportedly wants to leave RB Leipzig, and Van Dijk rebuffed interest from both Chelsea and Manchester City in favour of joining Jürgen Klopp’s band of merry men. What Liverpool did not need to do, though, was be so brazen in giving club-connected journalists details of how much progress was being made. Southampton may not have withdrawn the complaint, but fortunately for Liverpool, the case is considered closed.
Southampton have not presented any new evidence, no formal disciplinary action from the Premier League is forthcoming, and the apology seems to have been considered as a resolution of sorts. It would have been disastrous for a youth ban on signing players to be followed by a senior one, but perhaps Liverpool should be more mindful and clandestine when tapping up players in the future.
The bruises and marks left by bending the knee have faded as Liverpool face a scenario where the arrival of one top target could become three with the eagerness of Keïta and Van Dijk to move to Liverpool. The game starts now with prohibitive asking prices, but be prepared for news that Liverpool have dropped interest or are looking at other targets to only intensify instability around each player respectively. People change their minds, new deals are made, and circumstances alter; the key, however, is not to be swayed too much by the summer winds that blow.
We know what the players want so it is a matter of staying the course.