Manchester United are about to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City! According to various media outlets this afternoon, the two clubs have agreed on the transfer fee, as Man United are in line to pay £80m for the Leicester City centre-back. This means that the England international will become the most expensive defender in the football history.
The transfer saga of the summer is now finally over and Maguire will become new Manchester United player provided he passes his medical. It is expected that his medical will happen this weekend, which suggests that Maguire will be officially announced at the beginning of the next week. Leicester City continuously wanted more than the £75m Liverpool paid in January 2018 for Virgil van Dijk, when he was moving from Southampton.
Asking Price Never Changed
It should be noted that Manchester City were also targeting the centre-back, but they pulled out of the race once they realized they do not want to pay as much as the Foxes have been asking. Leicester never budged during the negotiations and it is a mistake from Man United’s negotiators that they could not finalise the deal sooner. Man United made Harry Maguire their prime target for this summer transfer window couple of months ago and the asking price of £80m was known even then.
Despite that, United needed to wait for the final week of the transfer window to get the deal done, paying as much as Leicester wanted two months ago. Therefore, Maguire did not get to go through the pre-season with the team, as he will be joining them in training basically just days before the season opener next weekend.
Bailly Injury Made Things More Urgent
It is also important to note that the Devils needed this deal done even more so after Eric Bailly was ruled out for four to five months with a knee injury he suffered in the friendly match against Tottenham Hotspur.
Maguire will, therefore, sign a five-year contract that should keep him at Old Trafford until June 2024. He will become the third signing of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era, with Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka joining earlier this summer, from Swansea and Crystal Palace respectively. With United spending world record fee for a defender it is expected for Maguire to instantly improve the back four of Solskjaer’s team, but this whole transfer still gives an aura of overspending.
Man United truly needed a top centre-back and were to able to pay a lot to get him, but it is a question how many parallels will we be able to draw between this deal and the one Liverpool made for Virgil van Dijk. Maguire needs to prove he is more than a very good centre-back, especially now when United are trying to return to the summit of the English football.
The return to top four of the Premier League remains the minimum expectation and Maguire has to make others around him better, in a similar way Van Dijk managed to do when he was paired with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. Whether Maguire has the capacity to do that to the extent the Dutchman did is a question that we will want to see answered already in his first season at the club.