Transfer news: Mourinho targets Leicester's Harry Maguire

Posted By: Aveek Chakraborty
Mourinho targets Leicesters Harry Maguire

Bengaluru, April 16: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has placed Leicester's £35million-rated centre-back, Harry Maguire, as his first target for the summer, according to reports. United are reportedly frustrated with defensive inconsistency and are looking to ship out some of the fringe players like Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind in the Summer.

Moreover, with Mourinho already ruling out any more additions in the attacking third, reports have emerged that the Red Devils are ready to splash out cash for a central defender. The Old Trafford side have recently been linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspurs defender Toby Alderweireld and Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. However, some of the reports now have claimed that apart from them Mourinho is also looking for other options and Maguire is the new name on their radar.

As per the Mirror, it is assumed that the Portuguese has picked the 25-year-old as the ideal replacement for Smalling in the first team squad because the United defender failed to fully convince his manager that he is the right man to play at the heart of his defence despite appearing on a regular basis for the last two seasons.

Mourinho is said to have been influenced by Maguire's calmness in possession and his ability to be a threat from set-pieces. Maguire joined Leicester last summer for £17m with a five-year deal from relegated Hull City and with still four years to run on his contract, the player is believed to be rated around £35m by his side.

The 24-year-old during the last two seasons has gone on to establish himself as one of the best young defenders in the top flight. His impressive display with the Foxes this season also has given him his international Three-Lions call-up last year, earning him four caps already after making his debut in a 1-0 win away to Lithuania. The 25-year-old is also expected to be in Gareth Southgate's plans for this summer's World Cup.

However, just 12 months after joining, manager Claude Puel will surely be reluctant to sell Maguire this early. But if big money offers from such Premier League Giants come calling it could be hard for them to get hold of the player.

Moreover, should the English player decide to join any of them, the Foxes have reportedly already lined up a potential replacement as they are targetting Brighton's captain Lewis Dunk as a replacement. Maguire has made 39 appearances for the Foxes this season and netted twice, assisting thrice.

Story first published: Monday, April 16, 2018, 13:51 [IST]
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