Leicester City have slapped a staggering asking price of £80 million for defender Harry Maguire, who has been courted by Manchester United and Manchester City.
According to The Sun, Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in the services of Harry Maguire. However, they both appear reluctant in meeting Leicester City’s stunning £80 million valuation of the England international – a fee which would make him the most expensive defender in footballing history.
That means Maguire could break Virgil van Dijk’s record from when Liverpool paid close to £76 million for the Dutchman last year. But, it seems as if both the Manchester giants are now unwilling to invest so much money on the Leicester City defender, despite acknowledging his quality.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, in particular, is known to be a huge admirer of the 26-year-old. And even though the Catalan is looking for a left-footed defender to accompany Aymeric Laporte in central defence next season, he is keen to sign Maguire, who has enjoyed yet another impressive campaign at the King Power Stadium this past season.
Indeed, the England international would have been an ideal replacement for the departing Vincent Kompany. But most importantly, his robust style of play coupled with his physical and aerial dominance, would have complemented the more technically gifted Laporte, thus adding another dimension to the Manchester City backline.
As for Manchester United, newly appointed manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer is apparently keen on putting an end to the club’s tendency to spend a considerable amount of money on world-class players. Instead, the Norwegian wants to build his team around young, talented homegrown players, who can offer athleticism and has room to improve.
Maguire, being an English international aged 26, does pass the criteria. But, his £80 million valuation seems a little too much for Solskjaer, even though financial resources hasn’t historically been a problem for Manchester United. But, if we consider the fact that the Red Devils are preparing for a squad overhaul this summer, having already released a bunch of players, investing a considerable sum on Maguire might not be the most prudent move.
From a sporting perspective, however, Maguire’s addition to Manchester United could have made a lot of sense. Much like Manchester City, United are in need of a robust and aggressive central defender, who can partner Victor Lindelof at the heart of their four-man backline. His defensive solidity would have allowed the Swede to become much more expressive in the build-up – something Manchester United have struggled with in recent years.
Therefore, the Red Devils should look to explore the possibility of signing Maguire this summer. They had reportedly submitted a world record bid of £84 million for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, which suggests that the Premier League giants might be ready to break the bank for a central defender.
Maguire, to that end, could be an ideal option given his age, which is coupled with his vast experience in the English top flight, unlike Koulibaly. It will be interesting to see how this transfer saga develops in the coming days.