Is Harry Maguire the right man to lead Manchester United's defence?

Solskjaer has identified his no.1 target

It's been a busy summer at Old Trafford already with the Red Devils confirming the captures of Swansea City's Daniel James along with Crystal Palace's England U21 international Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

They've shelled out almost £70m on the pair with the latter costing a massive £50m, which shows that the club aren't messing about this summer.

More are expected to arrive over the coming weeks with Solskjaer still in the market for a new midfielder and a centre-half.

A new defensive recruit is the current priority and OGS has identified his number one target in Leicester City & England man Harry Maguire, who isn't going to come cheap.

The Sheffield United academy graduate has enjoyed a rapid rise over the last couple of seasons which has culminated in the Red Devils offering a mega £70m for him on Tuesday morning, only for it to be rejected immediately.

Harry Maguire
Maguire's stock has risen significantly since moving to Leicester City two years ago and should the Foxes cash in, they'd make a colossal profit

This shows just how highly the Foxes rate him and if he is to leave the King Power Stadium for Old Trafford, it's going to be a world record deal.

Leicester won't entertain any deal that's under the £75m that Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk last January, so if United want to get their man, they're going to have to break the bank.

Maguire is evidently a superb player but it is a hell of a lot of money. However, at the age of 26 he's approaching the peak years of his career and if United could pull this deal off, they could have a superb defender on their heads for the next 7/8 years.

World record transfer fee required

When Liverpool shelled out a world record £75m to land Virgil van Dijk eyebrows were raised by everyone, but the impact that the Dutchman has gone on to make on Merseyside is absolutely incredible.

It's now seen as a bargain which seems bizarre as he cost so much money, but could we be saying the same of Maguire if he moves onto to United?

The 26 year-old is a similar age to the Liverpool man and boasts several comparable attributes. They're both commanding, influential figures, comfortable carrying the ball and playing out from the back & they're also absolutely lethal in the air - so it's easy to see why United are going for him.

But with the current state of the transfer market and with Leicester in no need to sell, it was always going to take silly money to get him to Old Trafford. Their opening bid of £70m wasn't even considered by the Foxes and it's believed they'll only start to negotiate from £80m - so we're talking astronomical figures.

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool
Any deal for Maguire would eclipse the £75m that Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk

This is a hot topic at the moment with fans of other clubs mocking United for offering such a sum for the England international, but it looks like a move that makes sense.

The Red Devils conceded a massive 54 goals last season, that's 9 more than Liverpool and Manchester City combined & in-turn their highest total in Premier League history - so something has to change.

The signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka is certainly a step in the right direction and he represents a significant upgrade on Ashley Young at right back, just like Maguire would on the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo.

If it all goes to plan this summer and OGS can field a back five of David De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Maguire and Luke Shaw in their opening Premier League fixture against Chelsea, then they'll look in much safer hands for the upcoming campaign.

What if Maguire gets too pricey?

Solskjaer has identified Maguire as his number one target but if he ends up getting priced out of a deal, there have been a few other names linked with a move to Old Trafford.

West Ham United's Issa Diop is someone who's held in high regard by the powers that be at Manchester United after impressing in his maiden Premier League campaign last term. The Frenchmen fits the profile of the new breed of MUFC players that OGS is looking to recruit with him just 22 years of age and you'd expect him to be significantly cheaper than the Leicester man - despite the Hammers shelling out £20m to sign him just twelve months ago.

Someone else they're reportedly interested in is Matthijs de Ligt, a player who's been linked with pretty much every elite club over the course of the summer. He's available for £70m from Eredivise Champions Ajax but with Mino Raiola as his agent, it's notoriously difficult to strike a deal regarding personal terms.

Despite being 19 years old the Italian is demanding figures in the region of £20m a year, so despite de Ligt potentially being a once in a generation talent, signing him could be a big gamble and upset the wage structure further just like the Alexis Sanchez deal did. However, it does look like the Dutch international is set for a move to Juventus.

Matthijs de Ligt
Winning the battle for Matthijs de Ligt would send out a huge statement to the rest of Europe and at just 19 years of age, he could be the mainstay of the United backline for years to come - but he looks likely to join Juventus

And finally, the move that most United fans want but would cost absolutely outrageous money, Napoli and Senegal man Kalidou Koulibaly. Alongside van Dijk and de Ligt, he's regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the game and at 28 years of age, he's someone at the peak of his powers - perhaps something that this underwhelming United side needs. He's a presence, a leader and looks like the perfect man to command their backline - potential captain material.

But on the flip side to all the positives surrounding a potential deal for Koulibaly, he's 28 which means little to no re-sale value, he isn't proven in the Premier League like Diop or Maguire and he has a huge €150m release clause - which Napoli are demanding. This would be a blockbuster signing and perhaps one that could transform United, but at that price what a gamble it would be.


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