Manchester United reportedly remain some way off meeting Leicester City’s asking price for star centre-back Harry Maguire after a lengthy transfer saga.
However, things may move closer this week as the Daily Mirror claim it’s expected that a compromise could be reached with a fee of around £78million.
The England international’s current asking price is £80m, say the Mirror, and it’s not clear if that £78m fee would only be an initial cash offer before the promise of future add-ons and bonuses.
Either way, Man Utd fans will just be eager to see this deal done after so many months of speculation, and with their defensive issues still not solved.
The Red Devils conceded a hugely worrying 54 league goals last season – the most they’ve ever let in in a single campaign in the Premier League era.
It’s clear Maguire would be a major upgrade on the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, and could have a similar effect to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.
As noted by the Mirror, Maguire’s fee would eclipse the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk, making the 26-year-old the most expensive defender of all time.
That seems a lot, but this is the nature of the modern market and it may well be worth it for MUFC if they can stop shipping goals at such an alarming rate.
Liverpool were a similarly leaky side before Van Dijk’s arrival, and they’re now one of the most solid outfits in Europe and won the Champions League last season, whilst achieving one of the highest Premier League points totals ever, even if it was still one point off champions Manchester City.