Manchester United made desperate last-ditch attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton only to learn he was joining rivals Liverpool

Manchester United made a last-gasp attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk before he joined Liverpool, according to reports.

The defender, who made a £75million switch from Southampton to Anfield in 2018, is set to pick up the PFA Player of the Year Award this weekend after a fantastic season.

GettyImages 1132621837 1 - Manchester United made desperate last-ditch attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton only to learn he was joining rivals Liverpool
Manchester United made a last-ditch attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk has established himself as one of the best defenders in world football and has managed to reach back-to-back Champions League semi-finals at the heart of the Reds’ defence.

However, it could have all been so different for the Netherlands captain.

According to The Times, United made a frantic, last-ditch attempt to secure the services of the 27-year-old in January 2018, only to be told he would join their bitter rivals on Merseyside.

This season, United have often deployed Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof at the back. And while the duo have performed admirably together, the stats below from Opta show just how imperious Van Dijk has been.

12749502 6963247 image m 25 1556276232407 - Manchester United made desperate last-ditch attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton only to learn he was joining rivals Liverpool
Statistically speaking, the Dutchman has been almost perfect
Opta
GettyImages 1058811312 - Manchester United made desperate last-ditch attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton only to learn he was joining rivals Liverpool
Lindelof and Smalling are just not on Van Dijk’s levl

As mentioned above, reports claim the Liverpool defender will add the individual PFA trophy to his Team of the Year gong. With three Premier League games to go, it is still conceivable the towering centre-half spearheads an incredible domestic and European double.

On Wednesday, Liverpool travel to Camp Nou where the Dutchman will be tasked with keeping Lionel Messi and former Red Luis Suarez quiet.

And with the season he is having, few would bet against Van Dijk doing it.

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