Former Liverpool player turned media pundit Danny Murphy has labelled Southampton's claim over Liverpool tapping up star centre-back Virgil van Dijk as 'laughable', claiming that 99% of deals involved such actions.
Van Dijk failed to engineer a move away from St Mary's this summer - much to his displeasure, and Murphy has voiced his frustration at Saints running to the FA regarding Liverpool's attempts to lure him away:
“They (Liverpool) didn’t withdraw their interest,” Murphy told talkSPORT (via Liverpool Echo).
“The players who leave these days for big money will always speak to the club or manager before the approach is made. About 99 per cent (of the time). A club is not going to go through the rigmarole of making an offer, a structured offer that takes a long time to write up and if it’s £50m there are add-ons and clauses, if they don’t know if the player will come.
“So every single player more or less in the Premier League will have met an official of that club without the club he plays for knowing.”
"This thing about illegal approaches is laughable. It’s a joke."
Murphy went on to suggest that it was simply a ploy from Southampton to receive more money for their man, with Philippe Coutinho expected to leave Anfield for a huge sum of money.
“Southampton know that. When Lallana went and Lovren went and Mane went, do you think they didn’t meet their perspective managers? It’s about money. They just wanted more dough because they thought Philippe Coutinho would get Liverpool £140m so Southampton were getting greedy.
“It’s like when Liverpool sold Torres for £50m and had to pay £35m for Carroll, when he was worth £15m or £20m. That’s just the way it is. You can’t blame Southampton or Liverpool."