Manchester United opted to sign Victor Lindelof over Virgil van Dijk in 2017 – according to a private conversation between the Dutchman and former teammate Charlie Austin.
It was a perceived ‘problem’ they had to address this summer by landing World Cup winner Raphael Varane from Spanish giants Real Madrid. However, as outlined by QPR striker turned pundit Austin, van Dijk might have headed to Old Trafford had things turned out differently.
That revelation was shared with former Premier League man while he was sitting on the bench with van Dijk.
Austin played for Southampton between January 2016 and August 2019, while the Netherlands defender also had two and a half years at St Mary’s after leaving Celtic in 2015.
Speaking to radio station talkSPORT, Austin said: “I remember right at the back end of his Southampton career we were on the bench together at Chelsea away.
“I sat there I said; ‘Come on Virgil, what’s going on, surely Man United must’ve been in for you?’
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“He said; ‘You know what Chaz, in the summer it was like between me or Lindelof and they signed Lindelof’.
“I was like; ‘You are joking?’ Nobody knows that, he told me that on the bench. I couldn’t believe it, I was just as gobsmacked as you. Obviously there was talk in the summer that he was going to go there then they’ve gone and taken Lindelof instead.”
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