Manchester United Will Reportedly Need to Pay £80M for Harry Maguire Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2018

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Harry Maguire of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Southampton at The King Power Stadium on April 19, 2018 in Leicester, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United will reportedly have to pay a world-record £80 million to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

It was noted by Sky Sports on Thursday that the Red Devils had made their move for the England international defender and valued the 25-year-old in the region of £65 million.

However, it was added that Leicester have no appetite to sell the player, and according to Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, United would have to part with a staggering £80 million if they want to get the move secured before the end of the transfer window.

"[Manager Jose Mourinho] has told United chiefs to complete a deal before the transfer window closes on August 9—but Woodward’s approach has been greeted with a lukewarm response from the Foxes," added Cross. "...The Midlands outfit are also under no financial pressure to sell Maguireand know his value will continue to rocket in coming seasons."

If United were to pay the sum quoted, it would make Maguire the most expensive defender of all time, topping the £75 million Liverpool paid to secure Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January.

Still, Daniel Storey of Football365 doesn't think the Red Devils should be putting forward a massive outlay for the defender:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

Suddenly deciding that they want to spend £110m on two players who happened to have just had good World Cups (Maguire and Rebic) would sum up Manchester United's mismanagement pretty neatly.

Maguire has only been a Leicester player for a year, having signed from Hull City last summer for a £17 million fee. His reported current value is indicative of a footballer who has made massive strides in the past 12 months.

The centre-back was named as the Foxes' Player of the Year after a string of commanding displays in defence. Maguire tends to get his head to so many balls, can shift across the ground and gets supporters out of their seats with his forays forward from the back.

SAMARA, RUSSIA - JULY 07:  Harry Maguire of England celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Sweden and England at Samara Arena on July 7, 2018 in Samara, Russia. (Photo by Ian MacNic
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

His showings for Leicester lead to a place in the England team at the FIFA World Cup, and Maguire was vital in the Three Lions making it into the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1990.

Journalist Liam Canning wondered whether United's pursuit of the player is in reaction to his displays in Russia:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Not against Manchester United going for Harry Maguire, but it just seems to reactionary. If he was their first choice centre back target, why not pursue him before the World Cup? Not long left and still so much to do. Very messy.

There's no doubt United need reinforcements in defence, with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof being hit-and-miss since their big-money arrivals. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have also failed to convince fully under Mourinho.

Still, Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News thinks United could do better business than Maguire:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

What's perplexing about Harry Maguire isn't so much it's a bit of a knee-jerk but that better, cheaper and more getable centre-backs are available for #mufc. United need someone more established, too.

The Leicester man would improve United's defence and potentially be a pillar at the back for years to come. Still, there are some weaknesses in his game, and as such a world-record fee would represent a massive gamble by the Red Devils.

With the window set to shut in less than two weeks, the pressure is on United to get reinforcements to facilitate a title challenge. But being so close to the start of the 2018-19 season, they will no doubt be faced with paying a premium for any key targets.