July 11, 2019
Manchester United’s pursuit of Leicester City and England central defender Harry Maguire is ‘very much alive’ according to reports on Wednesday evening. Sky Sports reported this, seemingly after The Mirror carried reports of their own which suggest the Old Trafford club were confident that ‘they have the upper hand’ over Manchester City.
United moved ahead of City after their £70 million bid for the player was reported last week, which came after both clubs stated that they would pay £65 million for the 26-year-old. Maguire has four years left on his Leicester contract, so the club does not have a need to sell, however, if they did, they would make a massive return on the £17 million paid for him just two years ago.
Leicester owner, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, would need to personally sign any deal for Maguire off himself and he is seen as an asset to the squad. However, there are reports that the club has earmarked Brighton and Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk as a possible replacement for Maguire, should he leave Leicester this summer.
Leicester will be seeking to get as much as they can for Maguire this summer if they do choose to sell him. As United signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in a deal which could be worth £50 million, which is a record for a defender heading to United, the club are sure to demand the £80 million to £85 million which has been reported in newspapers for a number of weeks now.
United obviously need to do something with their ailing defence who conceded 54 goals in the Premier League alone last season, the worst defensive record for the club in the top flight since the 1978/79 season. The likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly do not seem to be commanding when paired with Victor Lindelof, who was the clubs best central defender last season.
The Daily Mail has claimed that United and Leicester have had ongoing discussions about Maguire, which suggests that it could be only a matter of time before something develops this summer, which just under four weeks left before the closure of the transfer window ahead of the new Premier League season starting, with United taking on Chelsea at Old Trafford on the Sunday of the opening weekend.
United are said to only want to pay £75 million for Maguire, which is the same amount Liverpool paid for Virgin van Dijk just over 18 months ago. Obviously, this is where the discussions lie with Leicester aiming to make maximum profit – but when you consider a £17 million outlay, making more than four time that should be considered a great amount of profit for the club, who can then rebuild in defence and other areas.