Virgil van Dijk’s former teammate recalls the moment he was told about the Dutchman’s failed Man Utd transfer

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Many Liverpool fans will agree that the signing of Virgil van Dijk really kickstarted the period of success which the Reds have enjoyed in recent years.

The Netherlands international was signed from Southampton in January 2018 for a whopping £75m and instantly transformed Jurgen Klopp’s side – helping the Anfield outfit win every major trophy possible since then.

Charlie Austin, a former teammate of our No. 4 during his time on the south coast, has revealed how close the 32-year-old was to joining Manchester United while Jose Mourinho was in charge of the Old Trafford outfit.

“I remember the back end of his Southampton career we were on the bench together at Chelsea away,” Austin told talkSPORT in 2021 (via MEN). “I sat there and I said, ‘Come on Virgil, what’s going on, surely Man United must’ve been in for you? Massive club in England, etc’. He said, ‘You know what Chaz, in the summer it was like between me or Lindelof and they signed Lindelof’.

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“I was like, ‘You are joking!’ Nobody knows that, he told me that on the bench. I couldn’t believe it, I was just as gobsmacked as you. Obviously there was talk in the summer he was going to go there then they’ve gone and taken Lindelof instead.”

United must’ve been kicking themselves when van Dijk moved to Merseyside and made an instant impact just six months after they signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica instead.

The Dutchman has become recognised as one of the best defenders in the world since joining the club and is looking back to his absolute best this term having been handed the captain’s armband in the summer following the exit of Jordan Henderson to Saudi Arabia.

Let’s hope the skipper can add to his already impressive trophy collection this season after our dismal campaign last time out.

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