Mourinho aims dig at Klopp over Van Dijk

31Dec 2017
Guardian On Sunday
Mourinho aims dig at Klopp over Van Dijk

JOSE Mourinho has aimed a dig at Jurgen Klopp over Liverpool's decision to splash out to sign Virgil van Dijk by reminding him he was once critical of Manchester United's world-record move for Paul Pogba.

JOSE Mourinho

Van Dijk will join Liverpool from Southampton next month in a £75 million deal that will make him the most expensive defender ever.

It comes just 18 months after Klopp criticised Pogba's £89.3 million move to Old Trafford by saying he "would do it differently."

"If you bring one player in for £100m or whatever, and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney," Klopp said in July 2016. "Do I have to do it differently to that? Actually, I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money."

Mourinho, though, rejected the temptation to hit back Klopp, instead choosing to remind the Liverpool manager that his comments about Pogba now look a little out of place.

He said: "You know, I think the one that speaks about it in a specific way has to be Jurgen, and if I was one of you I would ask him about his comments about one year ago.

"Not speaking specifically about that case because in Liverpool, they do what they want to do and I am nobody to comment on what they do, but the reality is that if they think that the player is the right player for them, and they really want the player, they pay his amount or they don't have the player because that is the way the market is."

Mourinho, who this week questioned whether he had been given enough funds to compete with Manchester City, refused to criticise the fee Liverpool will pay for Van Dijk.

Instead, the United manager insisted the asking price for the former Celtic centre-back is just another example of an inflated market.

He added: "I am not saying with 10 years ago but three years ago, to compare is impossible. You cannot compare the realities.

"Virgil van Dijk is the most expensive defender in history of football, was he better than Maldini, Bergomi or Ferdinand? You cannot say that.

"It is 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 you don't have the player. Is as simple as that, so no critics at all about what Liverpool did, is just the way it is." AGENCIES