Leicester City have reportedly been told to cough up £40 million for Lewis Dunk, who they are eyeing as replacement for Manchester United target Harry Maguire.
As per a report from The Sun, as carried by the Daily Mail, Leicester City seem to be preparing for the departure of star defender Harry Maguire, who has emerged as the primary transfer target for Manchester United and Manchester City. To that end, the Foxes have identified Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk as Maguire’s replacement, but have been told to pay up £40 million for him.
Maguire has grown into an indispensable member of the Leicester City side since moving to the King Power Stadium from Hull City in the summer of 2017. The 26-year-old has racked up 76 appearances for the Foxes till date, bagging 5 goals and 3 assists and establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League in the process.
Maguire’s ascendancy over the past couple of years has seen him attract serious interest from Manchester United. The Red Devils’ defensive unit was in shambles over the past season, with no player apart from Victor Lindelof able to perform consistently, which has led to the club reviving their interest in Maguire, a year after having failed to sign him.
Along with Manchester United, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have also registered their interest in signing the England international. Having lost long-time servant Vincent Kompany this summer after his contract ran out, Pep Guardiola is seeking a like-for-like replacement for the Belgian, with Maguire emerging as a viable candidate.
Manchester City were believed to be closing in on signing the 26-year-old, but Manchester United are believed to be leading the chase according to the report. The 20-time English champions came up with a £70 million offer, which was knocked back by Leicester, who are seeking a transfer fee of around £85 million.
However, with both the Manchester clubs expected to come back with improved offers and the player also understood to be keen on leaving, Leicester City could be resigned to the fact that their star player could be on the move this summer.
To that end, Brendan Rodgers is already working on identifying potential replacements for Maguire, with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk emerging as a transfer target. The 27-year-old has earned a lot of plaudits for his no-nonsense displays with the Seagulls since their promotion to the Premier League two years ago and could be a very good option to replace Maguire.
The report adds that Brighton are demanding £40 million from Leicester for his signing, which should not be a big problem for the Foxes. However, if the move fails they are also looking at Burnley’s James Tarkowski as another possible candidate to boost their defence.
All in all, the fact that Leicester are out looking for new centre-backs seems to be indicating that Maguire will definitely be on his way out of the club this summer. It now remains to be seen if the 26-year-old chooses to join Manchester City or Manchester United.