Premier League

Manchester United: Maguire at a premium for Solskjaer

The centre half, who will become the most expensive defender in history, was available for €5m when Alex Ferguson spotted him at Sheffield United.

Harry Maguire, central del Leicester City, durante un partido contra el Manchester United.

It’s a funny old game, as someone once noted, and nowhere is that adage truer in 2019 than in the transfer market with Manchester United reportedly about to make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the history of the game when they could have snapped up the player from Sheffield United for five million euros back in 2013.

David Moyes had recently taken over the reins at Old Trafford from Sir Alex Ferguson and still had the wily Scot’s ear when it came to transfer dealings. When Ferguson chanced upon a young Maguire plying his trade for the Blades he duly reported his findings to his disciple Moyes, who approached the board to make a move for the young defender.

However, the feeling among the brass at Old Trafford was that Maguire was not up to standard and the defender moved to Hull for a mere €3m, from where he was loaned to Hull and eventually signed by Leicester City for €14m.

Moyes proved right on Maguire

At the King Power Stadium, Maguire flourished into one of the finest defenders in the Premier League and has gone on to earn 20 caps for England and is now valued at £80million (€89m).

According to reports in the UK, Manchester United have agreed to meet Leicester’s valuation and will officially make Maguire the most expensive defender in the history of the game, exceeding the €84m fee Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in December 2017.

Moyes’ reign at Old Trafford was brief and much-maligned, but he can reasonably point a finger at the board for not listening to the advice imparted by Ferguson and himself in 2013, which could have changed his fortunes at the club and will now end up costing Ed Woodward and his advisers a considerable one six years later.