Manchester United are interested in signing the Englishman who starred at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Leicester City have no intentions of letting their prized asset leave.
Leicester City manager Claude Puel is “confident” that Manchester United transfer target Harry Maguire will not leave the club in the ongoing transfer window, as per reports from Sky Sports.
Maguire joined Leicester only last summer in a £17 million deal from Hull City and quickly went on to establish himself as an integral part of Puel’s side. The 25-year old did not miss a single Premier League game in the season, as the Foxes finished ninth in the league standings.
His stock further increased after an excellent World Cup campaign with England, where he played a pivotal part as Gareth Southgate’s men made it all the way to semifinals of the tournament. This led to a strong interest in him from Manchester United, with the Red Devils’ manager Jose Mourinho unhappy with his current defensive options.
United were understood to be planning a £65 million swoop for Maguire that would have made him the most expensive English defender. The Red Devils are close to offloading defender Marcos Rojo to Premier League newbies Wolves, in order to make room for the England international’s arrival.
The Foxes, however, are unwilling to negotiate a deal for one of their best players from the 2017-18 season, having already lost Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City this summer. And now Puel has come out in the media and claimed that he is certain that Maguire will be staying put at the King Power Stadium ahead of the new season.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, the manager said: “I am confident about the presence of Harry for this season. He is a very good player for us. I was not surprised about his performance during this World Cup. We saw his progress during the second half of the season.
“He can continue to perform with Leicester and improve and that is the important thing always with a young player. To continue with us would be a fantastic thing for him and for us of course. I am confident with this and I think we can give him good ambition and to perform together with Leicester would be the best answer.”
Leicester are set to offer a new contract worth £100,000-a-week to Maguire, that would make him the club’s second-highest earner behind striker Jamie Vardy. Currently away on a vacation following his international commitments, the 25-year old had dropped a huge hint recently that he would be open to a move away this summer.
With Leicester standing firm on their stance and the fact that European champions Real Madrid have also taken an interest in the Englishman might force Manchester United to look elsewhere to resolve their defensive issues for the upcoming season.
A £35 million move for Barcelona defender Yerry Mina is understood to be in the works, while the doors on the possibility of signing Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham Hotspur haven’t been closed either. However, when United kickstart their Premier League campaign in just over a week’s time against Leicester, Maguire is likely to be lining up as an opponent.