Former Teammate Claims Manchester United Picked Victor Lindelof Over Virgil Van Dijk
Victor Lindelof is the reason Virgil van Dijk is a Liverpool player and not a Manchester United player, according to former Southampton teammate Charlie Austin.
United's victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday evening was the best example of how much the Reds are currently missing Van Dijk.
The centre back has been out injured since the Merseyside derby in October and on Sunday their defence struggled with the pace United had upfront, with youngster Rhys Williams looking exposed.
Van Dijk's signing in January 2018 turned things around for Jurgen Klopp's side and he was integral to their Champions League success and first Premier League title.
However he could have been wearing the red of Manchester instead of the red of Merseyside, according to former Saints colleague Austin.
"We were sat on the bench at Chelsea away and I asked him what was going on, I said surely United have been in for you?," the QPR loanee told talkSPORT.
"He told me, 'you know what Chaz, it was between me or Victor Lindelof, and they signed Lindelof.
♂️ "At #SaintsFC I said to Virgil that surely Man Utd had to be in for him."- talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 25, 2021
:astonished: "Virgil told me it was between him & Victor Lindelof..."
:red_circle: "I'm not sure [if he wanted Utd move], his heart was set on #LFC."
Charlie Austin reveals #MUFC chose to sign Lindelof over Van Dijk! :eyes: pic.twitter.com/oWG9OSc0lj
"I was gobsmacked, just the same as you.
"There was obviously talk he was going to go there in the summer, then they went for Lindelof instead."
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United signed Lindelof for around £30 million in the summer of 2017, just months before Van Dijk moved to Anfield for a then world record £75 million.
Liverpool also tried to sign the Dutchman that summer and were rebuffed, the side even had to put a statement out to say they wouldn't make a move for the former Celtic centre back after claims of tapping up.
It does seem somewhat unlikely that United would have been able to sign the defender considering the issues Liverpool had with him that summer.
The 29-year-old defender's injury, which could keep him out for the rest of the season, occurred when Jordan Pickford challenged him early in the derby.
It looked like a clear foul but both the referee and VAR failed to punish the Everton goalkeeper. Speaking recently ref Michael Oliver explained why he didn't give a red, saying, "The thought initially was 'it can't be a penalty because it's offside so we need to check the offside first.
"I think I said to the VAR, 'if it's not offside, I'm going to give a penalty.'
"I have watched it back so many times. I genuinely don't think Pickford has done anything apart from try to spread himself but he did it the wrong way, as the injury has shown.
"We have all, myself included, not thought about the challenge as much as we should have done. We could still have given offside and sent Pickford off."
Liverpool fans will just be glad when he does come back from injury he'll be a Liverpool player and not a Manchester United one...
Featured Image Credit: PA
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