According to Charlie Austin, Manchester United opted to sign Victor Lindelof ahead of Virgil van Dijk when the Red Devils were on the hunt for a new centre-back.
Speaking on talkSPORT former Southampton striker Charlie Austin revealed that Manchester United were keen to buy – now Liverpool powerhouse – Virgil van Dijk but opted for Victor Lindelof instead.
“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?” Austin recalled.
🤷♂️ “At #SaintsFC I said to Virgil that surely Man Utd had to be in for him.”
😲 “Virgil told me it was between him & Victor Lindelof…”
🔴 “I’m not sure [if he wanted Utd move], his heart was set on #LFC.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 25, 2021
Video courtesy of talkSPORT via Twitter
“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.”
Following the revelation Sky Sports have verified Austin’s claim as being true. Sky have compiled a list of ’50 players that United failed to sign’, and Van Dijk was one of three players on Jose Mourinho’s list.
The Premier League legendary manager has three targets in mind being Michael Keane, Victor Lindelof and Virgil van Dijk. United ulimately opted for Lindelof for £31m.
Van Dijk went on to sign for United’s rivals Liverpool for a record £80 million fee and has since went on to win the Premier League, Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.