Reports: Manchester United tried to hijack Liverpool's world record transfer
What's the story?
The Red Devils swooped in with a bid for the former Southampton defender while he was undergoing his medical at Anfield only to be told they were too late and the world record deal with Liverpool had been finalised.
In case you didn't know...
Manchester United publically chased defenders all summer without any new arrival as Mourinho hoped to enhance his defense ahead of the new season. Players including Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, and even Diego Godin were linked with a move to Old Trafford but none came to fruition before the Premier League transfer deadline on August 9th.
The news that United tried to steal Van Dijk as he completed his transfer to Liverpool demonstrates what a mess the transfer policy is at Old Trafford currently. Manager, Jose Mourinho, has publically criticised executive vice-president, Ed Woodward over the failure to bring in a new center-back this summer.
The result of another poor transfer window for Manchester United is the imminent appointment of a Director of Football at Old Trafford who will oversee all future transfers at the club.
The heart of the matter
Mourinho's cry for a new defender over the summer had added significance in the wake of his team's disastrous display against Brighton on Sunday. While the Red Devils boasted the second-best defense in the league last season, they have started this campaign by shipping four goals in two games against traditionally lesser sides.
News that United targeted Van Dijk but was too late will infuriate fans for two reasons. The first is that if the club wanted the Dutch defender, they should have made contact with Southampton in a timely fashion.
The second frustration for United fans is that if they were targeting a new defender in January, there is no excuse for not securing a center-back over the summer. The club would have already identified the position as one which needs improvement but still failed to bring in a new face.
Rumour Rating: 7/10
The story has been reported by the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail in England. It seems that Manchester United did make contact with Southampton regarding the availability of Van Dijk at a very late stage during his transfer to Liverpool.
Van Dijk moved to Liverpool for £75million - a world record for a defender. His transfer has helped the Merseysiders to shore up their defense with his presence, composure, and defensive abilities. On the other hand, United fans are left wondering what could have been.