Sunday 15 September 2019

Maguire left out of team but United must increase offer by £15m

Maguire held talks with Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday morning. Photo: Nigel French/PA
Maguire held talks with Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday morning. Photo: Nigel French/PA

John Percy and James Ducker

Harry Maguire has been left out of Leicester City's squad for tonight's friendly against Atalanta, because of the continuing uncertainty over the centre-back's future.

Maguire held talks with Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday morning and it was agreed that the defender would miss the final pre-season friendly at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester United are targeting the England international, but have got nowhere near Leicester's asking price, which is understood to be £85million, plus add-ons to take the final fee to £90m.

United are yet to up their offer from £70m plus add-ons - at least £15m short of what Leicester want - and are facing an anxious final week of the transfer window.

Leicester believe that leaving Maguire out of the squad is the best solution for both parties as he is not in the right frame of mind, due to the speculation over a move.

They are also mindful that tonight's game against the Serie A club is their final workout before the Premier League opener at home to Wolves a week on Sunday.

Rodgers is keen to prepare for the possible situation of Maguire being sold before next Thursday's deadline by trying out Turkey international Caglar Soyuncu in his place.

Desire

Leicester maintain that Maguire's attitude has been "excellent" since he informed the club of his desire to pursue a move to United during the club's pre-season training camp.

However, it is understood that the player fears he may be priced out of a move to Old Trafford.

There is also alleged frustration that his professional behaviour has not persuaded Leicester to reach a compromise with United.

Maguire has not resorted to the tactics employed by Riyad Mahrez when the Algerian sought to engineer a move from Leicester.

Mahrez, who submitted a number of transfer requests and missed training after a move to Manchester City failed to materialise last year, eventually joined City last summer for £60m.

United are also encountering frustration in their pursuit of midfielder Sean Longstaff, with Newcastle United refusing to budge from their £50m valuation, which is twice the figure the Red Devils had in mind.

Additionally, United are in talks with Juventus about Paulo Dybala in a swap-deal with Romelu Lukaku, who is also wanted by Inter Milan. Dybala is thought to be unhappy about the prospect of being forced out by Juventus and it remains to be seen if he agrees to the move.

Inter had been the front-runners for Lukaku, but their £54m bid got nowhere near United's £90m valuation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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