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Then-Palace boss Warnock was offered the chance to sign Van Dijk before he ended up at Southampton.
The Dutch defender impressed at Celtic, alerting clubs in the Premier League.
He could've signed for the Selhurst Park outfit, but their chief scout passed up the opportunity - claiming he was 'too slow'.
"The one that got away from me was Virgil van Dijk," Warnock told Mirror Football. "I got offered him when I was at Crystal Palace for £5 million.
"But my chief scout said he was too slow and he ended up at Southampton instead!
"It’s a shame because anything he may lack in pace, he makes up for 10-fold in his ability to read the game."
Palace's loss was Southampton's gain as they snapped him up for a reported £13 million in 2015.
Van Dijk starred at St Mary's, with Liverpool shelling out £75 million to acquire his luxurious services.
He's gone on to become one of the best centre-backs in world football, putting in commanding performances season after season for Jurgen Klopp.
Van Dijk's won the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and Super Cup during his trophy-laden spell at Anfield.
He helped the Reds to more success last season, winning the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
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