It’s understandable that any rumours of Virgil van Dijk eminently signing for Liverpool have scattered on the wind of the club’s uncanny ability to rile up Southampton’s head office. It’s all gone dark on that front. After the tapping-up allegations and Liverpool’s public apology of unseemly behavior in the pursuit of a player, Southampton by all accounts have taken their ball and gone home. They made a statement and everything about their position and their resolve to hold onto their players.
Okay. But this saga will rumble on for the remaining days of the summer regardless of how many important statements are handed over to the press. There will be expressed hope from Liverpool supporters that the deal can still be done as well as frustrated regret over the bumbled dealings with van Dijk. And we can assume that Southampton supporters will be buoyed by their club’s stance against the tyrant Liverpool who comes pillaging for players yearly on the south coast.
Southampton are turning Liverpool’s PR blunderdome into a boon for themselves and their fans. They have successfully silenced the Reds and sent them packing with their tails between their legs while also ensuring that any movements towards van Dijk will now be seen as naughty movements.
Liverpool’s man on the inside, James Pearce, isn’t hearing any new information coming out of Melwood concerning van Dijk. Is it really over? And did we ever have a chance? Pearce has claimed that Liverpool were likely always going to be up against it with Southampton this summer. The Saints are said to be very cross with Liverpool. Very cross, indeed.
Adam Lallana was Southampton’s captain before transferring to Liverpool. Rickie Lambert was a fan favorite. Dejan Lovren forced his move away from Saint Mary’s and still gets booed there. Nathaniel Clyne was the meat and potatoes on Southampton’s right side while he was there. And Sadio Mané, their biggest difference-maker, turned into ours.
But Virgil van Dijk would eclipse all of those transfers. A fee of £60million would make van Dijk the most expensive defender ever. Which begs the question: Would Southampton accept as mea culpa some sort of a sticker or plaque confirming and congratulating them on selling the most expensive defender? Could this get the deal over the line? Anyone with connections to the club, please ask.
For now, we wait and hold on whatever slim hope remains of seeing van Dijk at Melwood next season. Players will be back into their preseason camps soon and Southampton’s new manager will have some convincing to do to turn van Dijk’s gaze away from the eye of Liverpool.