Manchester United are unwilling to pay Leicester City’s £90million asking price for Harry Maguire and are hopeful of agreeing a lower fee with the Foxes.
The England international was a target for Jose Mourinho last summer but United baulked at Leicester’s £75m valuation of the defender, believing that it was an inflated demand on the back of Maguire’s impressive performances at the World Cup.
United’s failure to sign a center-back last summer contributed to the club’s worst-ever defensive record in the Premier League last term, where they conceded 54 times. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been keen to strengthen other areas of the squad but United’s end of season form convinced him that the signing of a center-back was necessary.
Like Mourinho, the Norwegian admires Maguire’s ability to bring the ball out of the back and believes he would compliment Victor Lindelof in the heart of United’s defense.
However, Maguire was handed a new five-year deal after United’s refusal to meet Leicester’s asking price last summer and that’s put the Foxes in an even stronger position this time around.
Brendan Rodgers considers Maguire to be a key component of his side and the club have made it clear it will take a world record bid for a defender in the region of £90m to prise him away from the KingPower Stadium.
United are unwilling to stretch that far and consider the £75m that Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk as the benchmark for a top class defender on the market.
The Red Devils are willing to offer a series of add-ons that could take the fee closer to Leicester’s valuation and are open to including a first-team player in any deal to sign the midfielder.
Marcos Rojo, Andreas Pereira, and Matteo Darmian are all surplus to requirements at Old Trafford but Leicester would prefer a straight fee for Maguire.
Pep Guardiola is similarly keen on Maguire and had identified the defender as a potential replacement for Vincent Kompany.
However, City’s valuation of the defender is ‘significantly’ lower than Leicester’s and Guardiola is likely to focus his efforts elsewhere.
Maguire, for his part, was keen on a move to the Theatre of Dreams last summer and is a boyhood United fan.