When Southampton told Liverpool Virgil Van Dijk was not for sale in the summer, it seems they simply refused to believe them.
Of course, it’s well documented that the Reds were eventually forced into making a grovelling apology for sending club officials to meet with the Dutchman in Blackpool without the Saints’ permission.
Yet, what has been all the more damaging is that Jurgen Klopp failed to identify an alternative as a back-up if the deal fell through.
No-one would discount Liverpool making their move once again in January, as Van Dijk has looked far from committed and hasn’t reached his peak again this season at St Mary’s.
Nevertheless, The Independent’s latest report suggests they have instead focused their efforts on Basel’s Manuel Akanji, who is also being targeted by Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old has been particularly impressive in Europe and while Basel are determined not to sell, they may be more willing to listen to Liverpool’s offers of a summer deal as opposed to BVB’s demand that a transfer be done in January.
Only Arsenal have conceded as many goals as Liverpool of all the Premier League’s big six.
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