Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool set to avoid punishment for allegedly tapping up Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool are set to escape punishment for allegedly tapping up Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.

The Saints reported the Reds to the Premier League after numerous reports emerged suggesting the Holland international had decided he wanted to join Jurgen Klopp's side.

However, with no bid made, Southampton took their grievance to the authorities, prompting an immediate apology from Liverpool - accepted by the south-coast side - and a commitment to end their interest in the centre-back.

A preliminary investigation was launched by the Premier League but has stalled as there is insufficient evidence to support Southampton's claim.

Press Association Sport understands unless new information comes to light there will not be any more progress with the inquiry, effectively allowing Liverpool to avoid a sanction.

Liverpool's players return from their summer breaks to start pre-season next week but striker Danny Ings is already ahead of them having been working on his own at Melwood.

The 24-year-old has made just 11 appearances since his £8million move from Burnley in 2015 after missing the majority of his two seasons at the club with serious knee injuries.

In October 2015, in his first training session with then new manager Jurgen Klopp, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee which ruled him out for seven months.

Almost a year later he sustained ligament damage to his right knee in the EFL Cup tie against Tottenham at Anfield and has not featured since.

Ings, who posted a video on Instagram of him training on his own, has been regularly attending Melwood since the end of the season in a bid to get his fitness up ready for pre-season.

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