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Why £80million on Harry Maguire isn't a bad deal for Manchester United

Wednesday 17th July 2019

At this stage, it feels as though a Harry Maguire move to Manchester United is an inevitability. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a new defensive stalwart he can build his team around, while the England defender is ready to make that step up in quality.

Leicester City will not be forced into parting with their prized asset on the cheap, though. Credit to them, Brendan Rodgers' Foxes are remaining firm, United will be forced into paying up. The fee constantly mentioned is around the £80million mark, which would be a world-record fee for a defender should the deal go through.

At first look, it sounds like an absolutely absurd valuation from Leicester, while the Red Devils are getting pelters for even considering paying that amount for the 26-year-old centre-half known as 'slabhead'. Let me tell you why this would be an excellent deal for all involved...

The club from the East Midlands signed Maguire for £12million potentially rising to £17million based on add-ons and bonuses back in June 2017. They're set to profit somewhere around the £63million mark which will suit them nicely. Credit goes to their whole recruitment team who have done some tremendous work in the transfer market over the last few seasons.

For United, they'd be fixing a real problem position. Although Solskjaer has many centre-back options available to him at Old Trafford, there's an alarming lack of quality. Maguire would immediately become United's best defender while they'd be getting the consummate professional who'll no doubt be a positive influence in and amongst the dressing room. Don't believe me? Here it from Rodgers himself...

Anyway, back to the proposed fee... I've seen United fans crying out for the Reds to activate a £25million release clause within Toby Alderweireld's contract. That's all well and good but the Belgian is now 30. Let's say he has two seasons left at the highest level, that'd be £12.5million-per-season. On the flip side Maguire is 26. Again, let's say he'll be past his peak aged 32. That would mean you'd get six top-class seasons from the Englishman. That works out at £12.25million-per-season. Plus, you'd have the position sorted for a longer period of time, giving Solskjaer one less headache to worry about in the transfer market.

Now obviously there's no guarantee and each player is different. If you're confident that either Maguire or Alderweireld could play till their mid-thirties then that changes things, but the older you get, the tougher it is to maintain peak fitness and play at the highest level. Despite all his qualities and class, Alderweireld would be a stop-gap ala Nemanja Matic...

The only problem I see is that Maguire will often be compared to Virgil van Dijk who he'll cost more than. The Dutchman is now arguably the best in the business, but he didn't become the top-class player he now is until securing a move to Anfield. Perhaps the same could happen for Maguire, who'll only improve by working alongside a better calibre of player.

In the modern-day game, fees will continue to be inflated. If Maguire does move to United and plays well, don't be surprised to see people look back on this deal in a few years with a different outlook because that's already happening with Van Dijk...

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Jordan Street

Jordan Street, 25-year old sports writer. Avid Manchester United fan and season ticket holder. Lover of the Premier League. Enjoys American sports. Tom Brady's biggest admirer, Kyrie Irving for MVP.

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