Liver­pool to es­cape Van Dijk fine

Ever­ton get Bel­gian Onyekuru and Hart in­se­cure at Torino

The National - News - Sport - - FOOTBALL -

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

Southamp­ton re­ported Liver­pool to the Premier League af­ter nu­mer­ous reports emerged sug­gest­ing the Nether­lands 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 Southamp­ton – 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.

Un­less new in­for­ma­tion comes to light there will re­port­edly 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 ahead of them hav­ing been work­ing on his own at Mel­wood.

The 24 year old has made just 11 ap­pear­ances since his £8 mil­lion 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 League Cup tie against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 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. Ever­ton have agreed a £7m (Dh32m) deal to sign Nige­ria in­ter­na­tional Henry Onyekuru from Bel­gian side Eu­pen.

The 20 year old fin­ished the sea­son as joint-top scorer in the Bel­gian Su­per League with 22 goals in 38 matches. Ar­se­nal and West Ham United were re­ported to be in­ter­ested in the young­ster but Ever­ton have moved quickly to tie up a deal for Onyekuru, who re­port­edly had a med­i­cal at the club’s Finch Farm train­ing com­plex on Mon­day.

It is un­der­stood Ever­ton plan to loan the striker to An­der­lecht, who will play in the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son, to as­sist his de­vel­op­ment be­fore bring­ing him to the Premier League full-time.

Onyekuru will be Ever­ton’s third sign­ing of the sum­mer, fol­low­ing Sun­der­land goal­keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford, who ar­rived in a club-record £30 mil­lion deal, and Ajax mid­fielder Davy Klaasen.

Italy goal­keeper Sal­va­tore Sirigu left Paris Saint-Ger­main to join Torino on a three-year deal that means he should take over as the club’s No 1 from Eng­land’s Joe Hart.

Sirigu spent the last of his six sea­sons with PSG on loan in Spain with Sevilla and Osasuna and, with the 2018 World Cup on the hori­zon, the Sar­dinian was look­ing for more play­ing time.

“I chose Torino be­cause they re­ally showed they wanted me,” Sirigu said. “The club and the pres­i­dent made me feel wanted and I thank them for that.”

Paul Childs / Reuters

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into Liver­pool’s al­leged il­le­gal ap­proach for Vir­gil van Dijk have not made enough head­way.

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