Manchester United are set to splash the cash in the summer with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targeting as many as five new arrivals.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will be the man tasked once again with trying to secure his manager’s targets.
Woodward has been criticised for some transfers in the past as well as managerial appointments such as David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
And it seems he also made a mistake in failing to land Van Dijk.
Van Dijk became the world’s most expensive defender when Liverpool forked out £75m for his transfer from Southampton 16 months ago.
But according to The Times, United made a last ditch call to try and sign him only to be told he was already set to join their rivals having completed a medical.
It proved to be a costly mistake leaving it so late to make their move with Van Dijk a key figure in Liverpool’s rise under Jurgen Klopp.
The talented Dutchman is set to pick up the PFA Player of the Year award tomorrow night after spearheading Liverpool’s pursuit of the Premier League title and reaching another Champions League semi-final.
Reports of United missing out on Van Dijk come as:
Meanwhile, United have been plagued by defensive issues ever since Jose Mourinho took charge with Solskjaer now well aware there is a desperate need for new centre-backs.
Solskjaer is keen to add to his squad this summer and the report claims Woodward is keen to get his business done early this summer.
In order to avoid making a similar mistake to missing out with Van Dijk, United are already chasing their transfer targets.
Last month, Arsenal legend Martin Keown pinpointed three areas where the Red Devils need to strengthen.
“We know that Solskjaer will be given money to spend, on average under the previous two managers it was around £130m per year,” he said.
Central defence for sure needs strengthening and Ander Herrera has not signed a new contract in midfield so they might need a midfield player.
“They also definitely a right-back. Ashley Young is now getting on in years.
“But they are not far away, this is a team that is in the Champions League quarter-final so it is not wholesale changes, just a player here and there.
“That is going to be expensive though.”