According to Sky Sports, Manchester United and Manchester City are set to battle it out this summer for Leicester and England centre-back Harry Maguire. Although Leicester do not want to sell their star defender, the report claims that the Foxes value Maguire in the region of £80million, which would make him the most expensive defender in the history of English football.
Any deal for the mooted fee would Eclipse the £75million paid by Liverpool to Southampton to sign top Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
Maguire has developed well over the past few seasons
Harry Maguire has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. He has gone from a promising young defender at Sheffield United to a regular England international. His ability to play out from the back and indeed come out with the ball are particularly impressive.
However, despite being a talented ball-playing centre-back, he is also physically tough and can do the dirty stuff a defender often has to do. In short, he seems like he is developing into a very capable all-around centre-back.
City and United both looking for centre-backs
If reports are correct (which sometimes they aren’t) Manchester City and Manchester United are both looking to bring in new centre-backs this summer. The Citizens will be one centre-back down from last season, as veteran Belgian defender Vincent Kompany headed back to boyhood club Anderlecht after nearly 12 years in Manchester.
City still have John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi available. However, no doubt Pep Guardiola would like to have four centre-backs, as he does like to rotate his squad. He also likes to play with three centre-backs. Therefore they definitely need to add a centre-back for cover for the new season.
Manchester United are heading into the summer on the back of a woeful Premier League campaign. The Red Devils defensive displays were of particular concern last season. There was an improvement in form of Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof,
However, the rest of the United defenders seem to struggle for form, including Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. None of the centre-backs currently at the club are good enough for a team that wants to challenge for the big trophies in the game.
There is no doubt that Maguire would be an upgrade on the current United centre-back options. Maybe he could form an effective partnership with Lindelof.
While both Manchester clubs are interested in the centre-back. The asking price may prove a sticking point, as reportedly neither are willing to meet the reported valuation.
Harry Maguire could easily stay at Leicester
Although Manchester City are currently the favourites to sign Maguire this summer, there is a very real possibility that he will remain in the Midlands with the Foxes. It is understood that the 26-year-old will not put in a transfer request and that he is happy at Leicester.
Leicester are no doubt moving in the right direction and his loyalty is certainly admirable. It would not be a massive surprise if the former Hull star is still a Foxes player when season 2019/20 kicks-off this summer.
Will Harry Maguire still be at Leicester next season?