In unprecedented circumstances, Liverpool have abandoned their hopes of signing Virgil van Dijk and apologised to Southampton for "any misunderstanding" over their interest.
The Saints had not received any contact from the Reds regarding Van Dijk, yet the Dutch defender apparently indicated an eagerness to become the latest player to swap St Mary's for Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp is believed to have made Van Dijk his top target, with the chance to work with the Liverpool boss reported to have played a significant role in the player's decision - information that stuck in the craw at Southampton.
Saints are understood to have asked the Premier League on Tuesday to investigate an alleged illegal approach, which has been followed by Liverpool announcing the end of their pursuit.
"Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs," a Liverpool statement read.
"We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk.
"We respect Southampton's position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player."
Southampton did not wish to comment on a statement that followed high-level talks on Wednesday.