Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is prepared to meet Leicester City’s hefty £80 million asking fee for the services of Harry Maguire this summer.
According to The Sun, Manchester United are willing to splash £80 million in their pursuit of Leicester City defender Harry Maguire this summer. The English international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the ongoing summer transfer window, but a move could not be agreed due to Leicester’s lofty demands for the ex-Hull City defender.
However, it seems as if Ed Woodward is now ready to meet their £80 million valuation for Maguire as he aims to add more quality to the Manchester United defence this summer. It is believed that the player has not yet asked for a transfer out of the club, though he could expect a five-year contract worth £350,000-a-week, should the two clubs agree on his transfer fee.
The report further claims that Manchester United are prepared to send the likes of Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly the other way in an attempt to land Maguire. And that makes sense as both of those defenders have struggled with form and injuries in recent years.
Rojo, in particular, is yet to surpass the 1,000-minute mark in the Premier League in any of the last two seasons. As for Bailly, he mustered only 637 minutes of league football and has been overlooked in favour of Chris Smalling. Hence, taking either of these two defenders out of the wage bill could free up space and money for the addition of Maguire.
The England international, after starring for his country in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last summer, has enjoyed yet another impressive campaign in the Premier League. The 26-year-old made 31 appearances, though missing out a few games due to a knee injury.
Maguire built a solid partnership with ex-United defender Jonny Evans at the heart of Leicester’s four-man backline under Brendan Rodgers during the second half of this past campaign. As a result, the Foxes managed to make an impressive turnaround and finish in ninth in the league table.
From a tactical perspective, Maguire’s addition to United could make a world of sense. The Leicester City star is advertised as a robust, no-nonsense defender, whose aerial prowess makes him an intimidating figure in defence. It also allows him to provide a threat from indirect set-pieces. And that means he could be an excellent defensive partner to the more technically astute Victor Lindelof.
The Swede was an ever-present figure in the Manchester United backline during the 2018-19 campaign. And Maguire’s doggedness at the back could surely allow him to become more expressive in terms of his overall passing and ball distribution, thus adding another dimension to the United backline.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not the England defender will be able to cope with the lofty expectations that are usually associated with any big money signing for Manchester United.