Jose Mourinho said no to bidding for Virgil van Dijk while Man Utd manager

Jose Mourinho rejected the chance to bid for Virgil van Dijk

Back in January 2018, Liverpool's immediate future changed forever.

The Reds announced the signing of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in a £75m deal, which was the world-record fee for a defender at the time.

Rival fans were sceptical about whether the Dutchman was worth the money, but 18 months later Van Dijk's enormous fee looks a bargain.

Liverpool's defence is one of the best in Europe, with Van Dijk's steel and elegance guiding the Reds to a second-place finish in the Premier League last season.

Had it not been for Pep Guardiola's all-conquering Manchester City, Liverpool would have strolled to the title.

Van Dijk was awarded the PFA Player of the Year accolade for his efforts, a monstrous feat for a defender.

And ironically, it turns out he could have been a Manchester United player back in January 2018.

According to the Independent, the Red Devils' boss at the time, Jose Mourinho, rejected a chance to bid for the defender because he did not want a centre-back at the time.

The likes of Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were seemingly enough for the 'Special One'...

Mourinho talks tactics with Bailly

But just a few months later, Mourinho was squabbling with the board over their reluctance to spend big on either Harry Maguire - who is now at the club - or Toby Alderweireld.

It just sums up the lack of planning that has gone on at Old Trafford in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson years.

One source at the club stated: “They’ve got reports on so many players, but they mostly go ignored.

“Some of the players they’d spend fortunes on, they’re not as good as better players who they’ve got reports on, but mostly go ignored.

Van Dijk could have been a Man Utd player

“There’s no unity of ideas.”

United did seem to buck up their ideas this summer with the signings of Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But the damage done behind the scenes is going to take time to heal, so don't expect a title challenge coming out of Old Trafford anytime soon.

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