Jose Mourinho’s transfer woes evidently started long-before this summer’s frustrating window with Manchester United.
It has been revealed that Liverpool’s fierce rivals failed with a last-gasp effort to beat the Reds to the signing of Virgil van Dijk back in January.
Van Dijk joined the club for a world record fee for a defender at £75million having been unable to make his desired switch to Anfield the previous summer.
Liverpool had squandered their chances of acquiring Van Dijk in time for the start of the new season after being accused of an alleged illegal approach.
The club subsequently worked cautiously behind the scenes to rebuild their relationship with Southampton and resurrect a deal for Van Dijk in preparation for the mid-season window.
He later joined the Reds upon the turn of the year, with Manchester United leaving in until the day of his Liverpool medical to inquire about signing him, reports the Daily Mail’s Dominic King.
Mourinho went in search of a centre-back again this summer, but saw the club fail to sign any of its multiple targets.
United were strongly linked to Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Barcelona’s Yerry Mina, who later joined Everton, in a desperate search for defensive reinforcements.
Sunday’s defeat to Brighton hinted at early consequences of the club’s inability to sign any one of them as Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof registered unconvincing performances.
A day later, Van Dijk would go on to produce a commanding display as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to start the season with back-to-back victories.