Liverpool ‘to activate’ £13m release clause for Saints playmaker

Liverpool have reportedly expressed an interest in signing Dusan Tadic from Southampton – just days after the embarrassment of their Virgil van Dijk climb down.

The Reds were forced to issue an apology and end their interest in the towering Dutch defender after Saints filed a complaint with the Premier League over an illegal approach for the player.

Although Saints accepted Liverpool’s apology, the dust has barely settled on the row, and claims in the Sunday Times that the Reds now want Tadic is unlikely to go down well with the south-coast club.

However, unlikely with Van Dijk, Serbia international Tadic is understood to have a release clause of about £13m in his contract, allowing Liverpool to recruit the playmaker without the complications involved in their recently abandoned approach for his Saints teammate.

And according to sources close to the player, the paper reports that Tadic would be more than open to making the move, with the Reds preparing for a return to the Champions League next season.

Tadic, who was Ronald Koeman’s first signing as Saints boss back in 2014, is said to have grown disillusioned with life on the south coast and with the management of Claude Puel this season.

The player, 28, has created 42 goals across his three seasons in the Premier League, so there’s little doubt his creative ability could flourish at Liverpool under Klopp.

And if reports of the release clause are true, there would be little Saints could do to prevent the Reds making yet another swoop on the club – no matter how sour relations are between the two sides.

West Ham are also thought to be keen on Tadic, but it’s claimed he sees Liverpool as his preferred destination.