Friday 24 November 2017

'Laughable, unprofessional and embarrassing' - Hamann and Le Tissier criticise Liverpool over van Dijk saga

The Southampton great has joined several others ex-professionals in condemning Liverpool's conduct during the transfer saga

Mark Critchley & Jack O'Toole

Former midfielder Did Hamann has criticised his former club's handling of the Virgil van Dijk transfer saga as 'laughable, unprofessional and embarrassing'.

Hamann, who played 191 games in seven years on Merseyside, said that Liverpool would have never been associated with illegal tapping stories in the past after van Dijk's club Southampton had asked the Premier League to launch an investigation into whether Liverpool have made an illegal approach for the player.

Hamann tweeted: "Laughable unprofessional and embarrassing, nothing you would have associated the club with in the past."

Liverpool ended their interest in van Dijk and issued a formal apology on Wednesday after Southampton accused them of illegally approaching their player.

Despite interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, Van Dijk was reported to have settled on moving to Anfield after holding private talks with manager Jürgen Klopp in Blackpool.

Southampton, however, had not been formally approached and subsequently threatened to report Liverpool to the Premier League, which led to Wednesday’s embarrassing climbdown.

Matt Le Tissier, a Southampton great who made 540 appearances for the Saints during the 1980s and 1990s, admonished Liverpool for their conduct, joining several ex-professionals in criticising the club.

“Somebody forgot that the way to go about a transfer is to actually make a bid first,” he told Talksport.

“Where all these stories came from, they just jumped the gun a little bit early and maybe should have held fire until Liverpool had agreed a fee with Southampton then maybe they would have got the man. I remember the days when Liverpool used to be quite classy in transfer negotiations.

Le Tissier added: “There have been no bids for Virgil this summer, and until a bid has been accepted you shouldn’t be talking to the player.”

Jamie Carragher, the Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender, called for the person responsible for leaking details of Van Dijk’s meeting with Klopp to apologise.

“Soton won't be bothered LFC spoke to player/agent before them as they & all clubs do it,” he added on Twitter. “But will be with LFC for feeding that fact to press”.

*Additional reporting provided by Independent.co.uk

Independent News Service

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