After spending most of the summer complaining about the make-up of his squad and the club's failure to land his preferred transfer targets, one of Jose Mourinho's wishes may be granted before the transfer window shuts this Thursday.
The latest reports from Sky Sports are linking Man United with a move for England World Cup star Harry Maguire, with the Old Trafford club hopeful of completing the deal in time for Maguire to line out against his current club Leicester City on the Premier League opener at Old Trafford on Friday night.
Central defence has been a key area of focus for United's recruitment plans this summer with a shortlist including Toby Alderweireld & Yerry Mina. But Maguire has seemingly been placed at the top of their wish-list.
A world-record bid for a defender? 🌍
The @England centre-half is Jose Mourinho's number 1️⃣ target...@ManUtd are preparing to make a bid for Harry Maguire before the @PremierLeague transfer window closes on Thursday, according to Sky sources: https://t.co/lDPDKPtdc7 pic.twitter.com/jpilyB5Ha5
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 5, 2018
This is all in the knowledge that Leicester are expected to demand a world record fee for a defender if they are to part with their prized asset, meaning that the Maguire deal will likely surpass the eye-watering £75 million it cost Liverpool to sign Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. In a market of increasingly inflated transfer fees, this deal would represent a remarkable profit for Leicester having signed Maguire for £17 million from Hull City last summer.
Recent reports from the Manchester Evening News suggest that the Van Dijk deal is being referenced by Leicester in an attempt to justify their asking price for Maguire, a factor that may wind Jose Mourinho up even more having recently questioned some of Liverpool's transfer dealings. If the Maguire deal goes through it may become another piece of ammunition in the game of 'whataboutery' between the two clubs.
The earlier closing date of this summer's transfer window has been a bone of contention for some of the top clubs in England, and with the deadline fast approaching we can expect a number of late splurges this week that may or may not represent value for money.
Manchester United preparing to make bid for Harry Maguire before Thursday’s deadline.
Leicester defender is José Mourinho’s No 1 target. United aware it will take world record bid for a defender for Leicester to be tempted to sell. Alderweireld & Mina the alternatives
— Kaveh (@SkyKaveh) August 5, 2018
Liverpool's £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk is impacting on Manchester United's negotiations for Harry Maguire because Leicester are using Van Dijk's fee as an example. (Source: MEN) pic.twitter.com/bbgZI8wbbQ
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 5, 2018