Liverpool reported to Premier League following 'illegal approach' for Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk has made it clear he wants to move to Merseyside

Liverpool reported to Premier League following 'illegal approach' for Virgil van Dijk

The Reds are believed to be leading the race for the highly sought after defender but have been hit with a big blow in their bid to wrap up a deal.

Leanne Prescott

Southampton are believed to have reported Liverpool to the Premier League ​for an illegal approach made towards Virgil van Dijk.

The Daily Echo suggested that the Saints hierarchy have been infuriated by increasing links between the player and Merseyside. The Dutchman recently made it known that he would be in favour of a move to Liverpool, rebuffing approaches from Chelsea and Manchester City​.

Jürgen Klopp is believed to have played a big role in Van Dijk's decision but that's only seen Southampton redouble their efforts to avoid selling their prized asset.

In all likelihood, the Saints are merely playing hard ball in the negotiations for the £50million rated defender. With Liverpool in the box seat for the 25-year-old and complaints over "tapping up" could well be a way of restoring strength to their position this summer.

Summer move would be a great bit of business by Klopp

Southampton are set to demand a huge fee should they part ways with Van Dijk this summer, with a fee of £60million thrown around in recent weeks.

While a record fee for a defender, it would be an excellent signing for Liverpool. Given their frailties at the back in recent years, the Dutch international would provide an authoritative figure for Klopp for the upcoming season.

Any such transfer would see Dejan Lovren drop to third choice centre-back despite signing a new deal at the club worth £100,000 a week. Asked in a recent interview about Van Dijk becoming his teammate this summer, the Croatian was visibly anxious over such speculation.

Good position despite reports to Premier League

With Van Dijk indicating his desire to play under Jürgen Klopp and be part of the long-term project at Anfield, along with the manager's clear intentions over making the 25-year-old the new spine of the back four, there remains optimism that a deal can be struck this summer.

The Saints have a history of threatening legal action - having done so with Chambers, Clyne and Alderweireld. Perhaps they sought after a bidding war between the three interested parties and now want to try and prevent one of their star men from making the move to Liverpool like so many before him.

Only time will tell if Liverpool can overcome this stumble in the road.