(Reuters) – Liverpool are unlikely to face disciplinary proceedings from the Premier League after being accused by Southampton of making an illegal approach to sign their defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool ended their interest in the Dutch centre back and publicly apologised to Southampton earlier this month after British media reported that the south coast club had complained to the Premier League about their attempt to sign him.
Both the Times and the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that the league had conducted a preliminary investigation into the dispute and concluded there was not enough evidence to launch formal disciplinary proceedings.
The Premier League declined to comment on the matter, but a source told Reuters that the situation was unlikely to change given that no new information has come to light.
Strict rules govern transfers, with clubs able to negotiate terms with players only if they are out of contract or once a fee has been agreed with the seller. The laws also govern indirect approaches via an intermediary.
Southampton have consistently said they do not intend to sell Van Dijk, who joined from Celtic for 13 million pounds ($16.57 million) in September 2015 and signed a new six-year contract in 2016.
The south coast club’s complaint was made after British media reported that the player had told Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp’s side he wanted to join his team.
Liverpool have regularly plundered Southampton over recent seasons with former Saints players Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne all currently playing at Anfield.
The Merseyside club have already fallen foul of transfer rules this year and were banned in April from signing Academy players from other English clubs for two years after an illegal approach for a 12-year-old attached to Stoke City.
($1 = 0.7844 pounds)
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru)