Jose Mourinho has responded to Virgil van Dijk's £75million move by reminding Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp of his threat to quit football if astronomical fees became commonplace.
The Reds have made the first significant move of the winter transfer window after agreeing a deal with Southampton to make Van Dijk the world's most expensive defender.
He will arrive at Anfield 18 months after Klopp insisted he wanted to "do it differently" following Paul Pogba's then-world record £92.35million switch to Manchester United, with the German suggesting he did not want to be involved in the game if such amounts became the norm rather than the exception.
Asked about Van Dijk's move at his press conference on Friday, Mourinho said: "I think the one to speak about it in a specific way has to be Jurgen. If I was one of you I would ask him about his comments about one year ago (when Pogba signed).
"Not speaking specifically about (the Van Dijk) 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 the right player 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 now the amount of money that certain managers and we try to compare that...not even with 10 years ago, (with) three years ago, it's to compare the impossible.
"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 (Rio) Ferdinand? You cannot say that.
"It's just the way the market is. 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.