Liverpool released a statement on Wednesday stating the club has "ended any interest" they had in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
As relayed by Simon Peach of the Press Association, the Reds also apologised for media reports linking the club with a move for the Dutch international:
According to Andy Hunter of the Guardian, Van Dijk has made it clear he is keen to go to Anfield this summer in a move that may be worth up to £60 million.
Peach provided more details about the situation, suggesting there had only been dialogue between the two clubs recently:
Per BBC Sport, Southampton were set to report Liverpool to the Premier League over what they believed was an illegal approach for the player. The south-coast club were reportedly "irritated by what they see as an attempt to unsettle Van Dijk and are ready to reject an official offer."
As noted in the same report, Manchester City and Chelsea have also been linked with the Netherlands international, who has established a reputation as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
Former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher reacted angrily when the news broke:
Ed Malyon of The Independent reflected on an unusual move by the Merseyside club, who no longer look to be in the hunt for the 25-year-old:
In Van Dijk, Liverpool would have potentially gone a long way to solving their defensive problems. The Southampton man is authoritative, calm in possession and so sharp in sniffing out danger. It means manager Jurgen Klopp will need to search elsewhere for reinforcements at centre-back.
If Van Dijk is indeed keen on moving to Anfield, then he'll be disappointed the transfer is no longer in the cards. It'll be fascinating to see where one of the Premier League's most coveted defenders is playing his football in the 2017-18 term.