Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drops Harry Maguire hint with latest update on Man Utd transfer plans

Manchester United have completed two transfers so far, with the £15million addition of Daniel James from Swansea City followed by the arrival of £50m right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to continue strengthening his squad, however, after the Red Devils slumped to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last term courtesy of a disastrous nine-game stretch to finish the year in which they picked up a mere eight points.

Defence and midfield have been earmarked as two areas in need of extra quality with United having leaked 54 top-flight goals last term, their worst total since 1978-79. They have also yet to replace Marouane Fellaini, who left in January, or Ander Herrera in the centre with the possibility that Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic could also leave.

In defence, however, Leicester’s Harry Maguire is understood to be Solskjaer’s first-choice option but United have had a £70m opening bid rejected.

The Foxes are demanding a world-record fee for a defender in order to let the England international leave, with it thought they are demanding around £90m. That fee would make him the most expensive player in United’s history, exceeding the current record £89m fee spent on Paul Pogba three years ago.

Maguire, who is reportedly flattered by United’s interest, was also a target for United under Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho but the club’s board refused to meet what was then a £70m price tag because they felt it was too much in the wake of an excellent World Cup campaign for the 26-year-old.

And the Norwegian coach insists 12 months on, United will still not pay over the odds for players.

“We’re still in the market looking to do some business, as I’ve said before,” he declared at a press conference in Perth on United’s pre-season tour of Australia.

“But we’re patient, we’re Man United, we don’t have to sell and don’t have to overpay either. You have to have the right players at the right price.

“And if you look at the squad we’ve got now, there are so many good players anyway.

“I’m sure with a good pre-season behind us – that’s the main thing now – the ones who are here are working hard want to improve.

“It’s not just about fitness work, it’s about robustness, this squad needs to be more robust when the season gets going.

“Last year, we had a run of I don’t know how many games without any defeats but the end was disappointing because we couldn’t get back to winning ways and need to get back to that.

“Doing business in the football market is not going to be a quick fix overnight. And we have players here who I trust.

“There are fantastic players here, loads of players I know are gonna be successful at this club and we’ve signed two in Dan and Aaron, with their speed and hunger, with quality that will be part of that.

“And I’m coaching and managing them here, the business side of it is you have to be in the market and, as I said, we don’t have any offers for our players.”

Ex-Everton midfielder Kevin Kilbane however believes Solskjaer should simply meet the asking price of the Midlands club, because he thinks United will face similar problems whoever they target.

And he thinks that even if United sign Maguire, they should still chase another centre-back.

“It’s the reality of it,” Kilbane told Off The Ball when asked if Maguire was worth such a high fee.

“You’re Manchester United, it’s a premium, there’s an extra £10-15million. 

“That’s the way that it is. They can afford it, it’s not a problem to them. 

“The figures are crazy, we know that, £50m for Wan-Bissaka is crazy money. 

“But that’s the reality and that’s where they are. 

“United, I would say, need two centre-halves and signing Harry Maguire is a step forward for them.”

In midfield, Solskjaer is believed to be targeting Sporting CP’s Bruno Fernandes and £25m-rated Newcastle youngster Sean Longstaff. Idrissa Gueye is another mentioned as an option while Southampton’s Mario Lemina has been linked with the Red Devils reportedly given permission to open talks with the Gabon ace.

United’s summer may also be complicated by several big-name departures, but Solskjaer says they have not yet received any bids for either Romelu Lukaku or Pogba.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.