Leicester City are demanding a bigger offer from Manchester United if they are to get their star centre back Harry Maguire.
According to the Independent, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will have to cough up a further £10million before they can speak to the England defender.
Leicester allegedly value the player at £80million, though would be willing to strike a deal at £70million plus add-ons.
Negotiations are expected to continue this week and the report claims that there is a feeling that the deal will get completed. Manchester City, who have also registered some interest in Maguire, are reluctant to properly throw themselves into the race.
It’s claimed that Maguire has made himself clear in that he wants to join United, and Leicester are happy to oblige as long as United meet their demands.
There’s no surprise that Manchester United are going in for Harry Maguire, considering that centre back is a position that has needed strengthening for a while. It was only this time last year that relations between Mourinho and the board began to get fractious in relation to issues over getting another centre back in (as reported on by The Telegraph).
In a poor season for Manchester United last year, there was no consistency with selection for their two centre backs at all. Lindelof started the most games (29), followed by Chris Smalling (24), then Phil Jones (15) and Eric Bailly (8) (via WhoScored); Maguire, on the other hand, started 31 games – but did miss seven games through a knee injury in November.
United conceded 54 goals last year which is completely unheard of for them. Before this season the most they had ever conceded was 45 in the 1999/2000 season and the 2001/2002 season – proving that Mourinho was right in saying that they need to reinvest in that position.
While Maguire is not the finished article, and will cost a lot of money, you can understand why United are after him.
Firstly, he’s homegrown, 26 and knows the Premier League. This might be the reason his price seems extortionate, however, why the price might seem a risk, getting someone who knows the league is less than a risk of going after someone who is unproven in this division, such as Kalidou Koulibaly, for example. They have gone in for unproven Premier League centre backs in recent years and not many have worked out, i.e. Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
Secondly, his stats show he’s a quality, well-rounded centre back, who has all of the makings of a top player. Physically imposing at 6’4”, quality on the ball as proved by his 0.5 dribbles averaged per game and his 0.4 key passes averaged per game, and a real commander as said by ex-fellow teammate Danny Simpson. The former Premier League champion said this about Maguire recently on talkSPORT: “The way he brings the ball out from the back and organises everyone is quality.”
United legend Gary Neville agrees that United should go after Maguire, and talked up his attributes in the process.
He said in the Mirror: “If you think of the attributes of centre-backs, he has them in abundance.
“Leicester fans won’t thank me for this, but they’re going to be under real pressure to keep him this summer.
“We talk about John Stones being good on the ball, I actually think Maguire is the equal of him on the ball.
“A big statement, maybe, as Stones is seen as the composed, ball-playing centre-back, but I think Maguire is just as good on the ball.”
Manchester United would be foolish to let this transfer pass over £10million.
£80million is a huge fee for Maguire, but if United want to improve their team, then it’s a fee worth paying. It makes sense for them to look within Britain for their next pool of talent, as they have done with Wan-Bissaka and James, after the failures of some of their recent imports.
Maguire would undoubtedly improve their side; they will really have some big regrets if they miss out on him. They made the same mistake last summer and look how it turned out. They shouldn’t compromise on getting their top target in this position as it’s one which is vital for them to get right.
As for Leicester, surely it is not a deal they can turn down at £80million after acquiring Maguire from Hull City for £17m (as per BBC Sport).
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