Van Dijk has established himself as one of the world’s best central defenders following his £75m move to Jurgen Klopp’s side in January 2018.
He was signed at a time when Mourinho was desperate to sign a centre-half himself and the board actually came up to Mourinho to ask him whether he would like to have Van Dijk at United.
According to The Independent, Van Dijk’s name was put forward as a potential signing before he eventually joined Liverpool but Mourinho ‘said no’ to the possibility of bringing the Netherlands international to Old Trafford.
Manchester United did not rival Liverpool for the signing of Virgil van Dijk after Jose Mourinho rejected the move, according to reports.— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) September 5, 2019
The Independent claim Van Dijk's name was put forward before his £75million move from Southampton to Liverpool. https://t.co/ZbATDw936p
The report claims that Mourinho did not want to sign another central defender at that time, even though the 56-year-old changed his mind just a few months later and pushed for Ed Woodward to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City.
It has also been revealed that United’s scouting structure was in disarray with many reports on potential transfer targets going unread by Mourinho. ‘They’ve got reports on so many players, but they mostly go ignored,’ a source told The Independent.
'Some of the players they’d spend fortunes on, they’re not as good as better players who they’ve got reports on, but mostly go ignored,’ the source concluded.