Jose Mourinho had the chance to take former Southampton defender and the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United but refused to take up the option, a move that has reportedly left the Red Devils with regrets.
Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho reportedly said no to the prospect of signing Liverpool’s imperious defender Virgil van Dijk during his time as Red Devils boss, Soccernet.ng reports.
Dutch defender Van Dijk is now highly regarded as the world’s best defender and a leading nominee for the FIFA FIFPRO Best Player award. Van Dijk has enjoyed a fantastic 24 months after completing his transfer to Liverpool from Southampton in 2018 for a then world record fee of £75million.
Since his arrival, the former Celtic defender has led the Reds to two consecutive Champions League finals, winning the trophy in 2019 and was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and Defender of the Year.
According to latest reports by The Independent, when Virgil van Dijk’s name came up as a potential transfer target, Jose Mourinho told his bosses at Old Trafford to ignore the Netherlands skipper, having already signed two centre-halves – Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.
“You wouldn’t have a situation, like at United, where Jose Mourinho actually said no to bidding for Virgil van Dijk in the January 2018 window because he didn’t want a centre-half at that point, only to then decide he absolutely needed one above anything else a few months later,” wrote Miguel Delaney.
Van Dijk have gone on to become an indispensable asset at Anfield and the bookmakers’ favourite to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
However, Manchester United earlier this summer signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for a world record fee of £85million for a defender.