Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was recently crowned the Uefa Men's Footballer of the Year, but the Dutch star could have turned out for Manchester United were it not for a decision made by former manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho was in charge of the Red Devils between 2016 and 2018, during which he won the Uefa Europa League and English League Cup, but was ultimately sacked due to the club's poor performances in the league.
The Portuguese manager later lamented United's lack of quality in defence as the reason for his side's struggles, although it appears he may have been the architect of his own demise.
According to The Independent, Mourinho told the United board not to bid for then-Southampton defender Van Dijk as he was happy and willing to work with the club's previous signings Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
The defensive duo have since struggled during their stay at Old Trafford, largely due to a spate of injuries sustained by both players, while the Dutchman went on to be named Uefa's best player in Europe last season.
The 20-time league champions have reinvested in their defence since Mourinho's departure, though, spending a world-record fee for a defender of £85 million (R1.5 billion) on Harry Maguire at the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign.
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