​Liverpool have released an official statement claiming that they have given up all interest in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk following accusations of tapping up.


The Saints made complaints stating Reds boss Jurgen Klopp made an illegal approach - consisting of several texts - for their player; if proven, the Anfield side could face a huge ban.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-MIDDLESBROUGH

In a hilarious attempt to save face, however, Liverpool have put out a statement on their ​official website, apologising to Southampton while insisting that there is no more interest in signing the Dutch defender.


It reads: "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.

FBL-ENG-PR-BURNLEY-SOUTHAMPTON

"We respect Southampton's position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player."


This leaves Chelsea and Manchester City to fight it out on their own for the player, and you can well imagine how wide the grins across Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola's faces will be after they get wind of this.


Van Dijk was thought to be close to signing for the Reds, having indicated that Anfield was his destination of choice. But for now it appears that Liverpool are effectively out of the race.


Kavan Flavius is a regular contributor to the Official Chelsea Guest Fan Blog, find him on Twitter @KavanFlavius.


​​