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Manchester United Turned Down The Chance To Sign Virgil Van Dijk

Manchester United Turned Down The Chance To Sign Virgil Van Dijk

Manchester United had the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk when he was a Southampton player according to a former coach.

Van Dijk left the the Saints in 2018 to join Liverpool for £75 million, a then world record fee for a defender.

He's gone on to live up to the price tag while playing at Anfield and has helped the club to Champions League and Premier League glory.

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Rene Meulensteen has admitted United also could have signd the Dutchman, but they weren't willing to take a gamble.

"To be fairly honest, I also do know in the time before, when Van Dijk was still at Southampton, there were questions of Manchester United bringing van Dijk in," Meulensteen explained to Stadium Astro per Pundit Arena.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"They never really took the punt, but Liverpool did because they could see the potential that he had but also the speed van Dijk had, the strength and everything.

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"Those are some of the aspects you would look at a really good strong central defender, can he play with some space at the back?"

Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant then went on to compare van Dijk to Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who United have been linked with in recent days.

"Everyone's talking about Koulibaly, bringing him in, but he could go to four or five clubs so it's not a given that he'll come.

"For £80 million, a central defender, if you compare that with van Dijk's performance for Liverpool last season and this season, then I think van Dijk is quite a bit ahead."

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

While United didn't splash the cash on van Dijk, they did recently break the transfer record for a defender with the capture of Harry Maguire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side spent £80 million to secure his services from Leicester City last summer and Maguire is now United captain.

Former Fulham manager Meulensteen had words on the 27-year-old, stating he feels United did overpay for the England international.

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"For me, I would probably say £50 million, no more than £60 million."

Maguire has improved United's defence since signing but a number of error's since football's restart have worried fans.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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His most recent came in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, when he scored an own goal in a 3-1 defeat.

Van Dijk wearing the red of United rather than Liverpool certainly would have had a huge impact on recent Premier League history.

Do you think Liverpool would have won the Premier League this season without Virgil van Dijk?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, Football, Manchester United, Transfers, Premier League, Virgil Van Dijk, Rivalries

Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.