Man Utd are reportedly now under pressure to secure a deal for Harry Maguire before Friday, as Toby Alderweireld’s price-tag is set to increase to £40m.
The Red Devils endured a bitterly disappointing campaign last year, as they missed out on Champions League qualification and ended up trophyless despite an upturn in form after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as Jose Mourinho’s successor.
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One of the biggest issues facing both managers last year was their leaky defence, as United conceded 54 goals in 38 Premier League games, giving them the worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings.
In turn, that is an issue that has to be addressed this summer in order to ensure that they can compete for major honours moving forward, but with just a matter of weeks to go before the transfer deadline, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka remain their only new signings thus far.
According to The Telegraph, they may not even be able to wait until the last minute to address their glaring defensive flaws, as it’s reported that with Alderweireld’s release clause set to expire on Friday, Tottenham could then demand up to £40m for the experienced defender.
With that in mind, that could potentially force Man Utd into now making a decision on who they see as the ideal solution, as the report adds that they have been pursuing Leicester City’s Maguire but have been unable to reach an agreement with the Foxes as of yet, despite the Independent suggesting on Monday that a breakthrough had been made.
The worst case scenario will be that they can’t find a breakthrough for Maguire and will then have to splash out £40m on Alderweireld, £15m more than what they would pay if they made the classy Belgian international their primary target now and swooped before the end of the week.
That would be poor planning and poor transfer tactics if they allowed that to materialise, and so surely if a deal can’t be made for Maguire by Thursday, then Man Utd would be well advised to prioritise Alderweireld instead for £25m.
Given his experience and consistency for Spurs in recent years, it arguably raises the question as to why he isn’t the top target already given the touted fee above would be excellent value for money.