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Liverpool have transfer theory over why Man City missed out on Virgil van Dijk signing | Football | Sport

Liverpool believe Virgil van Dijk never wanted to join Manchester City when the two clubs were interested in signing the defender.

Two years ago, Liverpool and City were vying for a top-level centre-back to shore up their backlines and Van Dijk was near the top of both shortlists.

Liverpool managed to secure their man for a then world-record £75million from Southampton which Anfield chiefs stumped up without much hesitation.

City, however, were far more reluctant.

“No but they can’t be serious, come on,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said when the Saints quoted the world-record fee for the Dutchman.

But Liverpool feel City only reacted in that way because Van Dijk had not given them any encouragement that he wanted to go there, according to The Athletic.

Van Dijk was wooed by Liverpool in a saga which eventually culminated in Southampton accusing the Reds of tapping up their talisman, but worked wonders nonetheless as the player moved to Anfield in January 2018 after a protracted saga.

The former Celtic defender is said to have been charmed by the charismatic Jurgen Klopp and passion of Liverpool fans, which led to him choosing Liverpool over City and Chelsea, who were also interested.

City signed Aymeric Laporte instead, who has similarly become the buttress of Pep Guardiola’s defence and whose absence through injury this season has damaged the team’s stability.

Liverpool still see the transfer coup as a “significant triumph” in the off-field battle with City, who are revered for their strength in the transfer market.

Van Dijk could not withhold his happiness after signing for Liverpool in January 2018.

“Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football,” he said.

“I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton.

“I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club.”

Van Dijk has been crucial to Liverpool’s success since his arrival while Laporte has been similarly key at City.

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