According to Charlie Austin, Manchester United opted out of signing Virgil van Dijk in the summer of 2017, instead landing Victor Lindelof.
Speaking on the talkSPORT Breakfast Show, Charlie Austin dropped a bombshell over the transfer saga involving Virgil van Dijk in 2017. The 31-year-old striker has claimed that Manchester United had the chance to sign the Liverpool superstar in the summer of 2017 before they chose to secure the services of Victor Lindelof instead.
Virgil van Dijk has scripted history with Liverpool since arriving from Southampton in January 2018, playing a major role in transforming the fortunes of the Reds over the past three years. In the course of his time with the Merseyside club till date, the Dutch international has guided them to winning four trophies, including the Champions League and the long-awaited Premier League title.
In addition, the 29-year-old has won a number of individual honours as well in addition to turning out 130 times in the red of Liverpool. However, it has now emerged that he could very well have been representing the Premier League champions’ bitter rivals Manchester United.
Speaking on the talkSPORT Breakfast Show, van Dijk’s former Southampton teammate Charlie Austin has claimed that Manchester United decided to sign Victor Lindelof over the Dutch centre-back in the summer of 2017 six months before he ended up making his way to Liverpool.
Austin said, “I remember at the back end of his Southampton career we were on the bench together at Chelsea away, I asked him, ‘come on Virg, what’s going on? Surely Man United must have been in for you? He told me, ‘you know what, Chaz, in the summer it was between me and Lindelof, and they signed Lindelof’.”
“I was like, ‘you are joking!’ I don’t know if anyone knows that. I couldn’t believe it, I was gobsmacked. There was talk in the summer that he was going to go there, but they’ve gone and taken Lindelof instead.” Asked if he would have joined Manchester United, Austin added, “I’m not sure, I think he had his heart set on Liverpool.”
Judging by his impact at Liverpool, it could be said that Manchester United could have possibly had a game-changer on their hands, especially considering how Lindelof has blown hot and cold. While the Swede has improved this season, his injury problems are forcing United into the market, with Pau Torres among those linked. Liverpool, though, were arguably the better for United’s decision.