Manchester United confirm Harry Maguire as third summer signing


Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City on a six-year contract with the option of a seventh. It was reported on Friday that both United and Leicester had agreed on the transfer earlier that day with what has been reported as an £85 million transfer, reportedly with no add ons included.

It has been reported for months that Maguire was United top priority after signing both Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace earlier in the summer. The club is still linked to Bruno Fernandes, Paulo Dybala and even Mario Mandzukic this summer, with just over five days of the summer transfer window left.

Maguire signed for Leicester from Hull City in the summer of 2017, costing £17 million, a £14.5 million return on the fee paid to Sheffield United three years earlier. He has previously worked with Mike Phelan who is now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant at the Old Trafford club. Although it is a great return for Leicester, the investment in the clubs defence was much-needed.

Maguire played a total of 32 times for Leicester last season, scoring three goals – all in the Premier League, playing a total of 2,689 minutes of football. He was a player that Leicester would have liked to keep in the squad, however, Solskjaer also wanted him as the leader in the defence and quite possibly a defensive partner to Victor Lindelof.

Whilst Magure will not be playing in the UEFA Champions League this season, he will be playing European football with the club participating in the UEFA Europa League, a competition they won under the management of Jose Mourinho during the 2016/17 season, beating Ajax in the final. Maguire was not playing European football at Leicester, so this will be a step up.

The player spoke to the official Manchester United website about his move to United. It was reported in the media during the last few weeks that the 26-year-old was looking to emulate both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the Old Trafford club. Both players have been gone for a number of years and had not really been replaced. Maguire said:

“I am delighted to have signed for this great club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.

“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”

Maguire will train with the first team next week and has missed all of the pre-season matches, so his participation in the opening Premier League fixture against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea next Sunday will depend on how the player performs during training next week. Solskjaer will suggest whether he will make his debut in his pre-match press conference.

Solskjaer will be pleased to finally land the player he wanted this summer and it is a shame that the move was not confirmed much earlier as Maguire could have maybe participated against Kristiansund or AC Milan, giving him a chance to bond with his new teammates during pre-season, instead of having to do so in the Premier League. Solskjaer, speaking about his new signing, said:

“Harry is one of the best centre-backs in the game today and I am delighted we have secured his signature. He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure – coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes – I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch.

“He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club. I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season.”

United may still have some business to conclude this summer with significant strengthening required in midfield, considering the speculation linking Paul Pogba with an exit this summer, also in attack, with the impending transfer of Romelu Lukaku to Juventus. The likes of Fernandes, Dybala, Mandzukic and maybe even Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could still become United players this summer, however unbelievable that might sound right now.

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