'Illegal approaches are a joke' says Danny Murphy who defends Liverpool's pursuit of Virgil van Dijk

Southampton complained to the Premier League regarding Liverpool's illegal approach for Virgil van Dijk in June.

Van Dijk
Southampton's Virgil van Dijk wanted to complete Liverpool transfer in the summer transfer window Reuters

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has defended the Reds in their constant pursuit of Southampton star Virgil van Dijk and claims the concept of "illegal approaches are a joke."

The Merseyside club were keen on signing the Dutch international from the South Coast club in June. Despite interest from Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, Van Dijk was keen on making a switch to Anfield.

Southampton were unhappy with Liverpool's illegal approach and complained to the Premier League regarding the same. The Reds were forced to end their interest after issue a public apology.

Van Dijk handed in a transfer request at St Mary's Stadium as he wanted to force through a move to Liverpool. The Saints were reluctant in letting their star defender leave the club in the summer transfer window.

Murphy believes 99 percent of the players signed by the Premier League are already tapped up and claims the player would have held conversation with an official from the buying club, even before the two clubs can come to an agreement over a transfer fee.

"This thing about illegal approaches is laughable. It's a joke," Murphy told talkSPORT, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

"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.

"Liverpool wanted the player full stop and did not withdraw their interest. The illegal approach thing is nonsensical. It's a load of rubbish."

"They (Liverpool) didn't withdraw their interest. 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."