According to popular presenter Chris Kamara, Manchester United could have pipped arch-rivals Liverpool to Virgil van Dijk’s signature during Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
Speaking on the BBC’s Proper Football Podcast (via the Daily Mirror), Kamara explained how he urged the ‘Special One’ to table a mega-money bid for the Dutchman.
However, instead of granting Mourinho funds to finance van Dijk’s arrival, the controversial United owners vetoed the Portuguese’s suggestion to break the bank to land the former Southampton man.
“I can exclusively reveal that I told Jose [Mourinho] to take him to Manchester United and Jose said – ‘these lot won’t give me the money for him’, and he went to Liverpool,” Kamara said.
One of the guests on the show, Troy Deeney, loved what Kamara had to say as he had a feeling United fans would go mad once they found out about the Glazers’ decision to deny Mourinho the privilege of signing van Dijk.
“That’s going to go viral – love it,” Deeney said. “Man Utd fans are going to be in absolute tatters now,”
Man United were among the potential candidates to land van Dijk before Liverpool swooped in and sealed the deal with Southampton in January 2017.
Jurgen Klopp’s decision to fork out a staggering £75 million on the towering centre-back proved a history-defining moment for the Anfield outfit.
The 31-year-old has been a transformative signing for the Reds, helping them win the Champions League and halt a three-decade wait for the Premier League title.
Man United tried to respond to van Dijk’s switch to Liverpool by shattering a world-record transfer fee for a defender to bring Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019.
But you don’t have to look beyond the Red Devils fans’ tweets over the past few years and the 30-year-old’s current status in Erik ten Hag’s tactical set-up to understand how that move panned out.
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