TV personality and former footballer Chris Kamara has opened up on a conversation he had with Jose Mourinho, who was managing Manchester United at the time.
Kamara has explained that he told the legendary Portuguese manager to sign Virgil van Dijk for the Reds, who was the subject of intense interest from various clubs following two strong seasons with Southampton.
Kamara’s suggestion was, however, rejected out of hand by Mourinho, who insisted that the club would not be financing a move for Van Dijk. The Netherlands international ended up joining Liverpool at the start of 2018.
“I can exclusively reveal that I told Jose [Mourinho] to take him (Van Dijk) to Manchester United and Jose said, “These lot won’t give me the money for him.” Yeah, and he went to Liverpool,” Kamara told BBC’s Proper Football Podcast, via the Daily Mail.
The claim comes roughly two years after Charlie Austin, who shared a dressing-room with Van Dijk when the pair were at Southampton, revealed that United instead opted to sign Victor Lindelof.
Stories like these are common in football and considering the deal to sign Van Dijk was the most expensive transfer for a defender in football history, you could understand why the club would be reluctant to sanction it.
The club did not hold back in their bid to strengthen the squad under Mourinho, however, paying large sums to sign players like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.