Manchester United boss José Mourinho has reminded Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp of his comments he made back in 2016 where he threatened to quit football if extortionate transfer fees became a common asset of football.
Liverpool have agreed a £75 million transfer fee with Southampton for the signature of Virgil Van Dijk, who will become the most expensive defender of all time when the January transfer window opens.
Klopp's previous comments came in the wake of United paying a world record £89 million fee for Paul Pogba, 18 months before the Reds signed Van Dijk.
Mourinho's thoughts on the Van Dijk transfer
Mourinho was asked about the Dutchman’s transfer fee in his pre-match conference on Friday ahead of Saturday’s game against Van Dijk’s current owners Southampton.
“I think the one to speak about it in a specific way has to be Jurgen,” said Mourinho.
“If I was one of you I would ask him about his comments one year ago [When Paul Pogba signed for £89 million].
“Not speaking specifically about the case because in Liverpool they do what they want, and I am nobody to comment about what they do, but the reality is if they think the player is right for them, and they really want the player, they pay this amount or they don’t have the player. That’s the way the market is.
“When we compare the amount of money certain managers and clubs spend, not even 10 year, but three years ago, is to compare the impossible.”
In 2014, the Red Devil’s signed Argentinian winger Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7 million which was an outrageous amount of money at the time.
Transfer Market - "You pay or you don't pay"
“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, [Giuseppe] Bergomi or was he better than [Rio] Fedinand? You cannot say that," said Mourinho.
“It’s just the way the market it. You pay or you don’t pay. If you pay, you pay a crazy amount of money but if you don’t, you don’t have the player. It’s as simple as that. No criticism at all about what Liverpool did. It’s just the way it is."