Manchester United in fo​ur-way battle for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire

Manchester United are reportedly involved in a four-way battle to sign Leicester City central defender Harry Maguire this summer. According to reports, United will have to fight off Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea to sign the 26-year-old this summer. This comes a year after the Old Trafford club were linked to the England centre-back, despite the clubs executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward not backing Jose Mourinho.

Maguire is likely to play his final match for Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday as they host UEFA Europa League finalists Chelsea at the King Power Stadium. Obviously, Chelsea have been handed a transfer ban which covers the next two transfer windows which could rule them out of the race, unless they win an appeal which has been applied in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

It has been reported that Leicester will be expecting a record transfer bid to let Maguire leave the club this summer, especially with a number of clubs seeking a leader for their defence; United, Arsenal and Chelsea could do with a player like Maguire. However, he should already be a United player but interest in him last summer was abruptly ended.

The Premier League club is reported to be asking around £60 million for Maguire after Manchester City paid around £50 million for both John Stones and Kyle Walker in recent years, which will add to the cost of luring Maguire from Leicester. Personally, I think he would be a good signing for the club and could compliment Victor Lindelof in the centre of defence.

Spurs could see Toby Alderweireld leave the club this summer with his £25 million release clause coming into action and Arsenal definitely need to add a decent central defender to their ailing squad, as it is the weak point in the team at this present time. Whilst United have many players able to play in the centre of defence, the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are no longer trusted by the clubs supporters.

Maguire has played 30 times for Leicester City this season in the Premier League, playing more than 2,500 minutes of football with one match remaining, scoring three goals for the club so far. The 26-year-old rose to prominence playing for England in the FIFA World Cup last summer, making seven appearances and scoring one goal. It was his performances in Russia last summer which opened United’s eyes into the skills of the player.

The Leicester defender has averages at least one tackle for his club in each match this season, at least 1.2 interceptions, 4.9 clearances and 0.6 blocks, which for a defender playing in the top flight of English football is not all that bad. He averages 56 passes per match, a passing percentage of 85%, which is great for a team wanting to pass from the back or just have an assured player to distribute the ball effectively.

It remains to be seen as to whether United can sign Maguire this summer. It certainly seemed to be an easy signing last summer, with that said, it could be a reason that sees the player reject United, which might be the angle the media take it if he does in fact sign for another club. However, the lure of European football, although in the UEFA Europa League, could well be a deciding factor.

United and Arsenal seem to be guaranteed a place in this competition with both Chelsea and Spurs in good stead to play in the UEFA Champions League, which could be another deciding factor. That said, Maguire would be a key player in the defence for United and will probably be the main partner of Lindelof, playing the majority of matches in all competitions, aside of rotation. Arsenal could make the same guarantees, however, with Spurs and Chelsea, if they avoid a transfer ban, he might not be considered first-choice unless other players leave the respective clubs.

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