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‘Manchester United missed their chance to sign Van Dijk’

Van Dijk
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Ex-Man United coach Rene Meulensteen believes Manchester United passed on their chance to sign Virgil Van Dijk and ended up over-paying for Harry Maguire.

In another reality, Van Dijk could have been a Man United player but the Red Devils passed on the chance to sign the defender.

United were among the first sides linked to the Dutchman while he was at Southampton. The club ultimately decided he was not worth the quoted fee and rivals Liverpool took the punt with a £75 million move.

Still with the hopes of bolstering their defence, the Red Devils smashed the transfer record for a defender and went on to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

Van Dijk has grown to be a talismanic presence for Liverpool so far. Maguire, on the other hand, still has many asking why so much was paid for his services.

United could be involved in another big money move for a defender with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly linked to the club. Just like Maguire, he won’t come cheap as well.

Meulensteen agrees that his former side need yet another centre-half and perhaps the club regret not taking their chance with Van-Dijk.

Whether the Red Devils need to land another centre-half, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man Meulensteen told Stadium Astro: “Yeah, definitely.

“To be fairly honest, I also do know in the time before, when Van Dijk was still at Southampton, there were questions of Manchester United bringing Van Dijk in.

“They never really took the punt but Liverpool did because they could see the potential that he had but also the speed Van Dijk had, the strength and everything.

“Those are some of the aspects you would look at a really good strong central defender, can he play with some space at the back?

“Everyone’s talking about Koulibaly, bringing him in, but he could go to four or five clubs so it’s not a given that he’ll come.

“For £80 million ($101m), a central defender, if you compare that with Van Dijk’s performance for Liverpool last season and this season, then I think Van Dijk is quite a bit ahead.”

Meulensteen added that Maguire isn’t worth the money invested in him.

The Dutchman added: “For me, I would probably say £50m, no more than £60m.”

Truly, a signing like Van Dijk is all Man United need right now.