Virgil Van Dijk botched transfer “embarrassing” for Liverpool: Riise

Football Soccer Britain – Southampton v Leicester City – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium – 22/1/17 Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has called Liverpool “embarrassing” for the way they tried to sign Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk.

Media reports last week had linked van Dijk with a £60million move to the Reds, which would have broken the Merseyside club’s record for the most expensive signing.

However, Southampton lodged a report to the Premier League over an illegal approach after the reports surfaced, forcing Liverpool to apologise for the contact with Van Dijk.

Riise spoke to Yahoo Singapore on the sidelines of the press conference for the Battle of the Masters between Liverpool Masters and Arsenal Masters, which will be played on 11 November.

The former Norway International did not mince his words when he said the saga “does not look good” for a big club like Liverpool.

“I don’t think it reflects how Liverpool normally conduct their business, and it shouldn’t happen to a big club like Liverpool,” the 36-year-old said. “I think it’s a shame, it did look like he will be a good signing for Liverpool.”

“But at the same time, it’s all about the respect. You have to respect the club the players play for, and also the agent. Because, if you start the wrong way, it could get ugly like now.

“It’s not a good thing for the club, from outside looking in.”

Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise. (Photo: Nigel Chin/Yahoo Singapore)

Despite the poor start to the transfer season for Liverpool, Riise believes that the club will still be able to attract talents to the team because they are “a big massive club and everyone knows their history”. He also pointed out that Jurgen Klopp is a manager that every player would like to play for, while the work he’s doing will entice players to Anfield.

Additionally, Riise forsee that Liverpool needs at least three major signings to compete for the title next season.

“I don’t have names, but in my opinion, we need a proper left back, a striker and a centre back.

“We need someone like Lukaku who can score more than 20 goals for his team. If we have one proper striker, we can have Roberto Firmino and Phillipe Coutinho around him to do good things.

“But they must be willing to spend money, because players are getting expensive and young players are expensive as they are meant for the future.”

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Tickets for the Liverpool Masters vs Arsenal Masters presented by Masters Football Asia are available at www.mastersfootball.com and www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix/