Monday 19 August 2019

Manchester United finally ready to meet Leicester's £80m asking price for Harry Maguire

Inter Milan are said to be keen on landing Romelu Lukaku (Martin Rickett/PA)
Inter Milan are said to be keen on landing Romelu Lukaku (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester United are finally ready to meet Leicester's £80m asking price for Harry Maguire, as they looks to finalise the sale of striker Romelu Lukaku.

Maguire started for Leicester in their pre-season game at Stoke on Saturday, but it may have been his final appearance for the club as United are ready to make a final offer that they believe will end the stand-off over the England centre-back.

Leicester rejected United's offer of £70m for the player earlier this month, but they will make Maguire the most expensive defender in football history with an increased bid that will allow the deal to proceed.

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed claims that United have agreed a fee for Maguire, as he insisted his England centre-back remains a key figure in his plans for the new season after he played in the Foxes pre-season game at Stoke on Saturday.

"There's no discussion," he said when asked about an increased offer from United for Maguire. "I know you guys (the media) are looking for updates but there's no change from the other night.

"There’s a lot of speculation around Harry but he's just got on with it. Like I've always said, we're all pretty relaxed with it.

"We're looking to prepare the whole team and squad and Harry's a part of that. He was excellent today, he's working very hard.

"We have two weeks left to go in the window for all of the players. I think it's just a case of everyone staying focused.

"Harry has been brilliant since the first day of pre-season and we have no need to sell him. Until something changes, there is nothing more to say."

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Leicester’s Harry Maguire is a big transfer target for Manchester United (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rodgers had previously suggested his club could put a deadline on the potential departure of Maguire, but that does not seem to have been activated with less than two weeks to go in this summer's transfer window.

Maguire has made no public comment on his future at Leicester despite claims he is keen to move to Old Trafford, with the next move in this story needing to be made by United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

United are keen to keep finances in check this summer and Woodward is desperate not to be accused of paying an inflated price for Maguire after having his fingers burnt on big-money buys in recent years.

Yet it seems that the sale of Lukaku to Inter Milan or Juventus could be the trigger that sees United make an acceptable offer for Maguire, with the Belgian striker posting an image on social media alongside his agent Federico Pastorello and hinting they had finally been given the green light to make a move to Italy.

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