Both suggestions were quickly refuted and, of course, no such medical took place. United and Leicester were even reported to have reached an ‘impasse’ in negotiations over the figures involved in any potential deal.
By Tuesday, United are said to be ‘miles away’ from securing a deal for their primary target. ESPN FC say that they ‘remain a substantial distance’ from tabling an agreeable offer, with Leicester ‘under no pressure to sell’. After having a £40m bid rejected, it is unlikely that £60m will do the trick either.
Leicester want more than the £75m Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk 18 months ago. As such, ‘there is no expectation at Old Trafford that a deal is imminent or that a breakthrough is close’.
The final few paragraphs of that story do present the smallest of silver linings to a darkening cloud. ‘There is confidence within United’ that the centre-half does actually want to join.
That is corroborated by John Percy of the Daily Telegraph, and there is no greater guarantee of accuracy. He says Maguire ‘has informed’ Leicester ‘of his desire to pursue a move’ to either Manchester club, and that the Foxes ‘have promised’ he can leave if a ‘world-record fee’ is produced.
Percy is eager to point out that this was no ‘formal transfer request’, while Maguire ‘has promised to remain professional’ if he stays at the King Power Stadium beyond this summer. But the club ‘will not stand in his way’ if they get what they want, and ‘do not anticipate any mutiny’ if they don’t.
Rather than ‘miles away’, the phrase Percy uses is ‘still some way’ to describe how close United are to securing the deal. Leicester ‘want between £80m and £90m’ but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are ‘reluctant’ to go any higher than £75m.
Brendan Rodgers is ‘relaxed’, safe in the knowledge that Leicester ‘have enough central defenders in the squad to be well equipped’ in the event of a sale. Moves for either Lewis Dunk or James Tarkowski are even said to be ‘premature’.
To complete the treble dose of bad news, Manchester City ‘still believe’ they can pip United to Maguire.
This claim comes from the slightly less reliable Sun, although it does make their newspaper instead of just the website. They say the champions ‘feel they can hijack the big-money move at the 11th hour’.
Of course, the same outlet also said his United medical was on Monday after an £80m fee was agreed. So yeah…
AND THE REST
Paris St-Germain’s Brazil forward Neymar has reiterated his intention to leave the club in a short meeting with sporting director Leonardo… Roma director Gianluca Petrachi has confirmed his club’s interest in signing Tottenham’s Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld… Bayern Munich have given up hope of completing a £100m deal for Manchester City’s Germany winger Leroy Sane this summer…Inter Milan are wary of the £75m fee Manchester Unitedhave demanded for Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku. Inter have offered a two-year loan proposal, which would see them pay instalments of £9m, £27m and £27m – but United want the fee in full… Wolves are in contention to sign Lazio’s Brazilian defender Wallace… Zimbabwe midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is refusing to train with Club Brugge in a bid to force through a transfer to Aston Villa.