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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man United Hope to Confirm Harry Maguire Deal 'Very Soon'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 25:  Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United gives instruction during the International Champions Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at the Shanghai Hongkou Stadium on July 25, 2019 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/International Champions Cup/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/International Champions Cup/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday said the club is hopeful of confirming the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City "very soon."

The summer transfer window has been rife with speculation linking Maguire with a move to Old Trafford. On Friday, reports broke suggesting a fee had been agreed, with BBC Sport saying the Red Devils will pay £80 million for the centre-back, which will be a world-record fee for a defender.

Following United's pre-season clash with AC Milan on Saturday, Solskjaer was asked for an update on the Maguire deal, per Sam France of Goal.

"Hopefully the last little details will be in place," he said. "So hopefully we can announce something very soon."

Solskjaer was also asked whether Maguire would be ready to play in the team's Premier League opener against Chelsea on Sunday. 

"Let's get the last details over the line," the United boss said. "But yeah, he's played a few games over the summer so we'll have to assess him if and when."

BBC 5 Live Sport took a look at some of the transfers for defenders that will be eclipsed by Maguire's move:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

1⃣ Harry Maguire 2⃣ Virgil van Dijk 3⃣ Lucas Hernández 4⃣ Matthijs de Ligt 5⃣ Aymeric Laporte 💰 Harry Maguire will become the most expensive defender in history, if he completes his move to #MUFC from #LCFC Football Daily 👇 📲⚽️: https://t.co/SfUpbbSl60 #bbcfootball https://t.co/m0fNiGIYhd

United played out a 2-2 draw against Milan before winning 5-4 on penalties in the International Champions Cup. They fielded Victor Lindelof, who scored an own goal in the game, and Marcos Rojo in the centre of defence to start the game.

Given the money United will pay for Maguire, you sense Solskjaer will be keen to get him into the team as quickly as possible. Simon Stone of BBC Sport provided insight into how the Red Devils may set up for that crucial opener:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

Interesting that Rojo starting Man Utd's final friendly. Presumably Maguire will replace him against Chelsea. Would have also thought James had done enough to get in next week.

United's defensive play was an area of big concern last season. Whether it was due to a loss of form or injury issues, Solskjaer would often make tweaks at the back and the team was unable to find a consistent base.

The Red Devils manager will be hopeful the work done over the summer in the transfer market will help alleviate some of those problems. Not only is Maguire set to arrive to add dependency at centre-back, but in Aaron Wan-Bissaka United have also already secured one of the best defensive full-backs in the division.

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette is happy with Maguire's impending acquisition and how United's defence is shaping up as a whole:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

Pleased Maguire will be coming to #MUFC. I think he's the type of player who will develop further over the next couple of years. He will bring technical acumen...But maybe as important...he will bring leadership. This is the perfect challenge for him. AWB, Mag, VL & Shaw is 👍🏾

It's been a whirlwind few years for Maguire, having gone from being relegated with Hull City in the summer of 2017 to being on the brink of becoming the most expensive defender in history. That tag will bring new pressures, as will playing under the bright lights of Old Trafford.

However, Solskjaer will be confident Maguire has the mindset to take the extra scrutiny in his stride. If the defender can be a building block for United in their bid to get back to the top of English football, his signing will be considered money well spent.