Jose Mourinho: What I really think about Liverpool FC signing Virgil van Dijk
The Manchester United manager opens up about Liverpool FC's decision to spend £75m on Virgil van Dijk
Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool FC paid “crazy money” for Virgil van Dijk but the Manchester United boss admitted that the transfer market dictates such huge transfer fees.
The Reds reached a £75m agreement with Southampton for the purchase of Van Dijk on Wednesday evening to make the Netherlands international the Merseyside club’s record signing.
Furthermore, the Dutch centre-half is the world’s most expensive defender after his transfer fee eclipsied the £58m that Manchester City paid for Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker in the summer.
Van Dijk was linked with a move to Liverpool FC throughout the summer transfer window but the Reds were forced to end their interest after the Saints threatened to report their Premier League rivals for an alleged tapping up.
The 26-year-old’s transfer fee is significantly more than the £30m that Manchester United paid for Benfica defender and Sweden international Victor Lindelof in the summer transfer window.
Asked about Van Dijk’s pending move to Liverpool FC ahead of the January transfer window, Mourinho told a news conference on Friday:
“Now you are going to say, Virgil van Dijk [is] the most expensive defender in the history of football.
“Was he better than [Paolo] Maldini or was he better than [Giuseppe] Bergomi or was he better than [Rio] Ferdinand? You cannot say that.
“It’s just the way the market is and you pay or you don’t pay.
“If you pay, obviously you pay a crazy amount of money. But if you don’t pay, you don’t have the player and it’s as simple as that, so no critics at all. It’s just the way it is.”
Liverpool FC have conceded 23 times in 20 games in the Premier League so far this season to raise questions about Jurgen Klopp’s defence.
The Reds have spent almost £300m since Klopp took over the reins in 2015.