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Manchester United decided to contract Victor Lindelof about Virgil van Dijk in 2017, Charlie Austin says

Manchester United decided to sign Victor Lindelof over Virgil van Dijk in 2017, the Dutch Liverpool defender told ex-Southampton teammate Charlie Austin before leaving for Anfield six months later.

  • Manchester United was strongly linked to Virgil van Dijk in 2017
  • United almost signed him, but chose Victor Lindelof instead, Charlie Austin says
  • Van Dijk has won the top flight and Champions League since his transfer in 2018
  • Austin claimed the £ 75 million defender’s first choice was Liverpool

Manchester United chose to sign Victor Lindelof in the summer of 2017 in place of Virgil van Dijk, according to former Southampton teammate Charlie Austin.

Van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s best players since coming from Southampton for a transfer fee of £ 75 million in January 2018, but was the subject of intense interest from the top European clubs six months earlier.

Former Saints forward Austin claimed he couldn’t believe the Red Devils’ decision to reject Van Dijk, who has now won the Premier League and Champions League at Anfield.

Manchester United signed Victor Lindelof for £ 30m in 2017 but could have signed Virgil van Dijk instead

The Red Devils turned down a move for £ 75 million from van Dijk because they preferred the Swedish defender

The Red Devils turned down a move for £ 75 million from van Dijk because they preferred the Swedish defender

Man United chose to sign Victor Lindelof in 2017 instead of Virgil van Dijk, says Charlie Austin

Austin (right) revealed several personal conversations with van Dijk (left) at Southampton

Austin (right) revealed several personal conversations with van Dijk (left) at Southampton

Austin (right) revealed several personal conversations with van Dijk (left) at Southampton

Austin told talkSPORT: ‘I remember in the back of his Southampton career we were sitting on the bench at Chelsea. I sat there (and said), “Come on Virg, what’s going on? Man United must have been for you? It’s a huge club in England.”

‘And he said,’ In the summer it was between me or Lindelof. And they signed Lindelof. Nobody knows. ‘ I could not believe it. I was amazed. ‘

“There was talk over the summer whether he would go there and that they took Lindelof.”

United signed Lindelof for around £ 30m in the summer they were in possession of van Dijk and with the Swede now approaching 150 games for the Red Devils, the center-back has yet to lead the Red Devils to a trophy.

Manchester United wanted to sign van Dijk in the summer of 2017, but chose Lindelof instead

Manchester United wanted to sign van Dijk in the summer of 2017, but chose Lindelof instead

Manchester United wanted to sign van Dijk in the summer of 2017, but chose Lindelof instead

Van Dijk ended up at Liverpool for £ 75 million in January 2018 and was a resounding success

Van Dijk ended up at Liverpool for £ 75 million in January 2018 and was a resounding success

Van Dijk ended up at Liverpool for £ 75 million in January 2018 and was a resounding success

Lindelof, however, is part of the United team currently leading the mid-Premier League table, while the defender played the full 90 minutes as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Sunday with a 3-2 victory. .

Austin claims van Dijk was tempted to move to Old Trafford, but his first choice was a transfer to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

When asked if the Dutch defender would have joined United, Austin said: ‘I’m not sure. I think he put his heart to going to Liverpool. ‘

Austin also lifted the lid on how the atmosphere was when Van Dijk asked to leave Southampton at the start of the 2016-17 season.

Austin claimed that van Dijk (center) has always wanted to join Liverpool, but was tempted by United

Austin claimed that van Dijk (center) has always wanted to join Liverpool, but was tempted by United

Austin claimed that van Dijk (center) has always wanted to join Liverpool, but was tempted by United

The Dutchman was linked to some of Europe’s top clubs, but Southampton, which at the time was led by Mauricio Pellegrino, refused to let the defender leave.

Austin recalled: ‘I remember he (Pellegrino) got everyone in the preseason and he got us everywhere, everyone on the field including Virg, and he just came out and said,’ Look guys, Virgil wants to go and stand the club Not allow him to go.

‘He says he’s not going to play, so he’s not going to train with us. (He said that) to everyone, including Virgil, who was stunned. (He had) no heads up from the manager or anything.

The former Saints forward revealed what it was like at Southampton when van Dijk wanted to leave

The former Saints forward revealed what it was like at Southampton when van Dijk wanted to leave

The former Saints forward revealed what it was like at Southampton when van Dijk wanted to leave

He said, “You are going to train with the physiotherapist and the fitness coach.” It was more along the line of stamping his authority, (doing) what he had to do. Although he didn’t move in the summer and two days after the transfer window closed, Virgil started again on Saturday. ‘

He apologized to the boys, but the boys said, “Virg, we understand. You were connected to Liverpool, you wanted to go, it’s fine for us.” But we were glad he was still there. ‘

Van Dijk is currently out of action for Liverpool due to a long-term injury sustained in the Merseyside derby in October, but he accelerated his recovery by starting some ball work during his training in Dubai this month.

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