Manchester United are refusing to meet Leicester City’s asking price for Harry Maguire and will walk away from the deal if their next bid is rejected, according to reports.
United are hoping to bring in a top-level centre-back before the transfer window shuts next month and it is widely reported that the England international is in the Old Trafford giants’ sights.
However, United’s second bid is thought to be just below the current world record fee paid for a defender – the £75m Liverpool spent recruiting Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.
And with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly already on their books, the National says United’s board have decided they will walk away from the deal if their offer – believed to be £74m – is not accepted.
And with Leicester said to have stuck a minimum £80m price tag on the defender’s head, it’s looking increasingly tough for United to finalise a deal for their No 1 summer target.
Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers addressed the speculation on Tuesday night and said the player would only leave if their asking price was met.
“We don’t have to sell Harry,” Rodgers said.
“Harry has been absolutely brilliant about this right from the word go. He’s a top, top player and a top guy. I thunk it’s important the supporters know that.
“I’ve been in this situation before with players and it’s not always easy but Harry has been absolutely superb. We’ve had a chat about it, obviously.
“He’s happy and I tip my hat to him for the way he’s dealt with all this because it can be unsettling.
“There’s a value that hasn’t been met yet and my support is to him. He’s a special player and we want to keep him but, of course, time will tell.”
Sky Sports have claimed that Maguire is ‘frustrated at Leicester’s stance’ as they also backed up suggestions that the proposed transfer could now collapse.
“The big problem is Manchester United are offering about £70m,” Kaveh Solhekol said on the Transfer Talk podcast.
“Leicester want about £80m, so there is about a £10m difference in valuation.
“If United were to pay £80m for him that would be a world record, more than the £75m that Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk.
“I don’t think United want to make him the most expensive defender in the world.
“We’re also being told that Maguire himself is, I have to choose my words carefully, I don’t think when he looks in the mirror he sees a £70m player.
“I’m sure he thinks he’s a very, very good player but I don’t think he thinks he’s worth what Leicester are asking for him at £80m.
“So that’s the situation we are at at the moment.”
In addition, Solskjaer recently hinted that United would not overpay for players, despite their obvious need for reinforcements at the back.
“We’re still in the market and looking to do some business,” Solskjaer said.
“We’re patient and we’re Man United, we don’t have to sell and we don’t have to overpay either. You want the right players for the right price.”