Liverpool's attempts to sign Southampton's Virgil van Dijk could still be successful, provided the "price is right" according to club legend Steve Nicol.

The Merseyside club were heavily linked with the 25-year-old and were ready to pay a world-record fee of £60m ($76.9m) to secure his services.

However, reports of the club tapping up Van Dijk soon emerged as Liverpool formally apologised to Southampton over "any misunderstanding" and ended their interest in Van Dijk on 7 June.

Jurgen Klopp's side are still in need of a central defender though, and Nicol believes a deal for Van Dijk is not completely dead in the water.

"If the price is right then yes," he told ESPN FC. "If the price is right, which I hope is not £60m, because I don't think he's worth £60m. Liverpool need a centre-back, I guess sometimes you have to do what you have to do."

"Whether the valuation is correct or not, Liverpool need a centre-back. He is a good player, the question is can he deliver at Liverpool? He did it at Southampton, can he do it at one of the big boys? I don't know."

As for his thoughts on the whole tapping up scandal, Nicol says it is a common practice in the Premier League.

"I'm not going to argue that it's not unethical, but it's about as common as muck," he added. "It happens every single time there's a transfer, somebody gets tapped up. And everybody knows it but everybody turns a blind eye to it."

"If the FA or anybody else want to go after Liverpool or any other club for this type of behaviour, as I said, they're going to be very busy because they're all at it. So I think they want to just sweep this under the carpet and try to get rid of this."

If a deal is to occur, Liverpool face competition from champions Chelsea, who are also interested in the former Celtic defender's services as the Saints are unlikely to go below their £60m valuation.

Virgil van Dijk
A deal for Virgil van Dijk could still happen despite Liverpool ending their interest Getty