According to reports from Sky Sports, Manchester giants City and United could well compete for the signature of Leicester and England centre-back Harry Maguire this summer. The 26-year-old has just finished playing for England in the semi-finals of the Nations League. Reportedly Maguire will not ask to leave the Foxes, so will only leave if the Midlands club accepts a big money offer.
Maguire is becoming a complete centre-back
Harry Maguire is fast becoming the complete centre-back. Not only is he excellent at the defensive side of the game, where he is superb in the air and the tackle, but he is also the definition of the modern ball-playing centre-back.
His ability to play out of defence separates him from most of his contemporaries. Very few centre-backs, especially English ones, can play the way he does. He has certainly come a far way from his humble beginning playing League One football with Sheffield United.
Maguire is now a mainstay in a well-established Premier League team, while also one of the first names on the teamsheet for Gareth Southgate’s England.
United and City in need of a new centre-back
It is understandable the link with Maguire for both Manchester City and United. For different reasons, both teams could use a new centre-back ahead of next season.
Manchester City of course already has Maguire’s international teammate John Stones, French star Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi already on their books, while Kyle Walker has sometimes played as a centre-back in a back three.
Vincent Kompany’s move back to his homeland to be player/boss at Anderlecht leaves the Citizens slightly short in the centre of defence. With Citizens boss Pep Guardiola keen rotating his squad, he will need more than three out-and-out centre-backs heading into next season.
Manchester United have a high number of centre-backs. Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are all on the Red Devils books. The problem is that most of their centre-backs have struggled to convince at the highest level.
Lindelof actually produced some decent performances last season. However, for a variety of reasons, the rest struggled for form in recent seasons. I doubt many United fans would shed many tears if four of their five centre-backs left the club this summer.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his work cut-out rebuilding his Red Devils squad. A new centre-back seems to be one of the priority areas for the Norwegian this summer in the transfer market.
City the favourites to sign Maguire this summer
At the moment, Manchester City are the favourites to be Maguire’s next club at odds of 8/11, with United second favourites at evens to become the big centre-back’s next employer.
Like I talked about in my article about Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Leicester do not need to sell the centre-back. In fact, reportedly the Foxes have put an £80million price tag on Maguire’s shoulders.
That fee would be British-record for a defender, which would beat the £75million Liverpool paid Southampton to sign Virgil van Dijk. No offence to Maguire, but he is not yet in the same league as the Dutchman.
It remains to be seen if either club is willing to shell out that sort of money to sign Maguire. No doubt he would be a good signing for both. However, it seems that Maguire is quite happy at Leicester, so who knows the Foxes may just be able to hang onto this summer.
Could Harry Maguire be on the move this summer?