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Manchester United still pursuing Harry Maguire, world record fee still needed. Will the Old Trafford club get their man?

Manchester United are reportedly ready to make Leicester City defender Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the world with Sky Sports suggesting the Old Trafford club are ready to pay £80 million for the 26-year-old. The fee, should the move happen, would eclipse the £75 million fee that Liverpool paid to sign Virgil van Dijk just over 18 months ago.

It was reported that Maguire was absent from training on Monday and Leicester’s stance is that the player is not for sale, according to Sky Sports. However, the club has spoken about Maguire and suggested that bids in the region of the value they have put on the player have not been received. That, to me, suggests the player is for sale.

Obviously, United have a week to conduct their transfer business this summer. It was another summer of hope which could end in even more disappointment, just like last summer, which seemed to set Jose Mourinho upper failure which then resulted in his sacking in December 2018. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be backed to strengthen United.

It was suggested by Sky that Maguire is keen on a switch to United to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who left the club some years ago with no true replacement to lead the defence. United has signed the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof but with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling, United has failed to secure their defence in recent years.

Leicester seem to want £90 million for Maguire this summer, which is a massive fee, showing the greed of the club for a player they purchased for £17 million from Hull City in the summer of 2017. An £80 million return on that would be a great amount of profit in order to strengthen the position and maybe others. However, with nothing seemingly happening to secure the player, United may well miss out on Maguire this summer.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that United may need Maguire to do them a favour in order to sign the defender this summer. Leicester might not be able to sell Maguire for a similar amount in a year’s time or beyond that – it could be now or never for them. If they accept £80 million, it would be a world record for a defender and they would be able to rebuild, seemingly interested in Lewis Dunk from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Sun has reported the £80 million offer which seems to be in the offing from United, also pointing out that Maguire has been left out of an official video from the club showing the numbers of the player, including summer signing Youri Tielemans. It also stated that United are worried that Leicester might turn down an £80 million offer, seeking £85 million instead. You don’t know unless you try.

Leicester manager Brandan Rodgers has given yet another update on the Maguire situation which seems to have turned itself into a saga, much like that of Bruno Fernandes. The former Liverpool and Celtic manager, who spoke to BBC Leicester Sport, which was reported by The Mirror, once again spoke about no suitable offers being put forward for Maguire, which would need to change if United wants to sign the player. He said:

“As of this day, the valuation for Harry hasn’t been met that would trigger any communication with the player and the other club. There’s no change.

“For me, Top, John Rudkin [director of football] and Susan Whelan [chief executive] are doing a great job in relation to that.

“The club hasn’t changed its stance in terms of the valuation for the player.”

United will need to test the water sooner or later. If Leicester is seeking £90 million for Maguire, that must be the ceiling fee as all clubs must have room to budge or face pricing the player out of a move, which could result in an unhappy player. United need to offer £80 million and see what happens, It may mean that they land their top target, or that more money is demanded. For that, they will need to have a secondary option and be ready to move quickly.

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