Attempt to hijack Virgil van Dijk move sums up Man United transfer policy
Phil Jones and Virgil van Dijk would've been a partnership made in heaven...
Manchester United reportedly tried to hijack Liverpool's bid to sign Virgil van Dijk in an attempt to recruit the Dutch central defender to Old Trafford, but were too late.
In what has become a common story of the club's transfer policy of recent years, Ed Woodward & Co. only decided they were keen on the then Southampton defender after Liverpool had already made serious inroads into signing him.
Despite their late attempts to bring van Dijk to the club - as reported by The Times - it appears the 27-year-old somehow resisted the temptation of sharing a backline with one of Phil Jones or Chris Smalling, and instead opted for Anfield.
Prior to his move to Jurgen Klopp's side in January 2018, van Dijk had been chased by both Manchester City and Liverpool and made a very public move to leave Southampton by reportedly refusing to play for the club.
It's unknown for how long United scouted him, but one can safely assume that their thought process was 'if he's good enough for our rivals, perhaps we should try to sign him as well'.
United - the same United that botched the initial move for Ander Herrera - made a "last-ditch" call to Southampton about Van Dijk only to be informed the Dutch defender had completed his medical with Liverpool. Sounds about right.
It didn't work out though, obviously, and the last 15 months have proven that his move was the right one. The former Celtic man has been a revelation in Liverpool's backline and was this week named the PFA Players' Player of the Year.
On the other hand, he could've appeared in an advertisement for the new X-Men film, so it's all swings and roundabouts.