Liverpool have published an official statement to confirm that they have ended their interest in signing Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
Written on LiverpoolFC.com, it read: “Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs.
“We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk.
“We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.”
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp had made Van Dijk a top transfer target, according to BBC Sport, but the Anfield club have now performed a U-turn after Southampton threatened to report them to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach.
This has left Liverpool in an embarrassing situation.
It has also boosted the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, who are keen admirers of Van Dijk, as reported by The Express.
Van Dijk to Liverpool looked as good as done earlier this week, with The Mirror claiming the Reds were all set to pay a £60m transfer fee, plus £200,000 in wages.
Many football fans and pundits thought that was way too much for a 25-year-old with just 12 Netherlands caps and two decent Premier League seasons on his CV.
Perhaps Liverpool have dodged an expensive bullet?