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Liverpool blocked attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk - Brendan Rodgers

Steve Nicol defends his decision not to pick Liverpool against Spurs, but says their performance was no surprise.

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he attempted to sign Virgil van Dijk during his time at Anfield, only for the move to be knocked back by the club.

Southampton defender Van Dijk has been linked with a big-money move in recent months following an impressive season prior to suffering an ankle injury.

Rodgers told the Evening Times he was offered the chance to sign the centre-half before he left Celtic for the south coast in 2013.

"Virgil van Dijk could have jumped from Celtic to Liverpool," the manager, now at Celtic, said.

"When I was at Liverpool I asked about van Dijk and he was at Groningen and then at Celtic. But I was told he wouldn't be for us at the time.

Virgil van Dijk has been linked with a big-money move from Southampton.

"Some clubs will want to see the players tested at certain arenas first, but if there is enough belief in the player then that counts.

"The key for scouting is trying to predict when the player is peaking. You could see with Van Dijk that he was quick, strong, good on the ball and decent in the air.

"So what more do you need to see? You could see him playing international football and, okay, clubs may want to see him in Champions League."

Rodgers said he believed there was "maybe an issue with scouts."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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