Maguire Makes England Squad As Greenwood, Foden Are Dropped

 

file photo

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was Thursday named in England’s squad for games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark after being dropped following his conviction in a Greek court. 

Gareth Southgate called up Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the first time, as well as Leicester’s Harvey Barnes and Bukayo Saka of Arsenal.

Maguire’s Manchester United team-mate Mason Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden were both omitted from the 30-man squad after being sent home from England’s camp in Iceland last month for breaching coronavirus rules.

Southgate called up Maguire in August for Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark but was forced to backtrack later the same day after the 27-year-old was found guilty on various charges, including assaulting a police officer, following an incident on the island of Mykonos.

Maguire, who strenuously denies the offences, has appealed against the verdict, which resulted in a 21-month suspended prison sentence.

The appeal nullified his conviction and there will be a full retrial in a more senior court.

The centre-back has since played in United’s opening two Premier League games, as well as the League Cup win at Luton.

– Rebuild trust –

Southgate had said previously that “trust needs to be rebuilt” with Greenwood and Foden but added on Thursday they would be in contention for his next squad.

“We have to send a message to all our players in our teams at every age level that that sort of thing isn’t how we do things with England,” he said.

“Then we’ve got to rehabilitate these two boys. Young people will make mistakes. These lads have suffered enough now.”

Southgate said Calvert-Lewin, who has already scored eight goals for Everton, including two hat-tricks, this season had caught the eye.

“Dominic is a player we’ve liked for a long time,” he said. “What he has added over the last 18 months are goals. Of course for a striker they are critical. He is in a really rich vein of form.”

The England boss said players’ workload would be managed.

“Our aim is to manage the squad,” he said. “We have got to be responsible. We are conscious of the welfare of the players.”

England play Wales in a friendly at Wembley on October 8 before hosting Belgium and Denmark in Nations League matches on October 11 and October 14.

England squad

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tyrone Mings, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Harvey Barnes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

Maguire To Remain Man Utd Captain Despite Court Case – Solskjaer

A photo combination of Manchester United coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and captain, Harry Maguire.

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Harry Maguire will remain Manchester United’s captain this season despite his involvement in a Greek court case.

Maguire was given a suspended 21-month sentence last month after the England defender was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and bribery during an incident in Mykonos.

The 27-year-old has denied the offences and has launched an appeal which nullifies the verdict and means he has no criminal record ahead of a full retrial.

Following the original court verdict, Maguire was withdrawn from England’s squad for their recent Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.

However, England manager Gareth Southgate has said would consider bringing Maguire back into the squad for the next internationals.

READ ALSO: Man Utd Captain Maguire Gets Suspended Prison Sentence For Greek Assault

Now United boss Solskjaer has made it clear he will not punish his centre-back by stripping him of the captaincy.

“He’s handled it really well and, of course, I’ll be here to support him,” Solskjaer told United’s website on Saturday.

“He is going to be our captain. We’ll just leave Harry and his people and the process to run.”

Maguire was a key figure in his first season with United following his £80 million ($102 million) move from Leicester, which made him the world’s most expensive defender.

Solskjaer said Maguire had coped well with the incident in Greece, which was allegedly sparked when the player and his family and friends were taunted and attacked at a nightclub.

“Of course, Harry, as you said, had a difficult summer. He didn’t have a long break,” Solskjaer said.

“His break was different to others as we gave him a few more days and, after, he’s come back and looked fine.

“For me, he is a top, an absolute top human being and has always been a positive guy with the right values. So I really hope we can see Harry performing at his best.”

United start their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on September 19 after being given an extra week of rest following their involvement in the Europa League in August.

 

 

AFP

Man Utd Captain Maguire Gets Suspended Prison Sentence For Greek Assault

In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP
In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was on Tuesday given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days on assault charges by a court in Greece.

The England international defender was arrested late last Thursday after a fight at a nightclub in Mykonos.

He was charged with assault, bodily harm, verbal abuse and attempted bribery.

Maguire, who did not attend the hearing on the Greek island of Syros, denied all charges and stated his intention to appeal the verdict.

“Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing. I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims,” Maguire said in a statement.

Manchester United released in an official statement shortly after the verdict fell, backing their player.

“Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence,” the club said.

The statement added: “It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare.

“A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied. On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire’s legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date.”

The sentence is suspended for three years.

According to reports in Greek media, the nightclub fight started when someone hurt Maguire’s sister.

The 27-year-old defender, who has 26 England caps, spent two nights in police custody before flying home at the weekend.

AFP

Man Utd Captain, Harry Maguire, Released From Police Custody In Greece

 In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP
In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was released from Greek police custody Saturday, TV footage showed, ahead of a hearing on assault charges on the island of Mykonos.

Wearing a baseball cap and mask, Maguire was shown leaving a courthouse on neighbouring Syros island, accompanied by what appeared to be members of his legal team, and boarding a dark minivan.

The England centre-back’s hearing has been set for Tuesday but he is not obliged to be present.

Manchester United said in a statement: “Following the appearance in court today we note the adjournment of the case to allow the legal team to consider the case file.

“Harry has pleaded not guilty to the charges. It would be inappropriate for the player or club to comment further while the legal process takes its course,” the club said.

His lawyer Constantinos Darivas had earlier told Greek sports website gazzetta.gr that the England centre-back had denied the charges, and was in “fine condition” despite spending two nights in detention since his Thursday night arrest.

Manchester United football team captain Harry Maguire (2nd L) leaves a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos on August 22, 2020. EUROKINISSI / AFP
Manchester United football team captain Harry Maguire (2nd L) leaves a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos on August 22, 2020. EUROKINISSI / AFP

 

Greek TV channel Mega said Maguire’s father had flown to Greece to be at his son’s side.

The case is being heard on the island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos.

The £80 million (88 million euros) defender was arrested late Thursday after what Greek police described as an “altercation” between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos.

Mega said Maguire had become enraged after someone in the other group struck his sister.

A Greek police statement on Friday said that three men aged 27, 28 and 29 had been arrested in Mykonos.

The police said an officer was punched on the scene, and that a second fight had broken out at the local police station where the three men “strenuously resisted (arrest), pushing and striking three officers.”

One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to hush up the incident, the police said.

The suspects are accused of assault, resisting arrest, verbally insulting and threatening the arresting officers, and attempted bribery, the police said.

Four Mykonos officers sustained slight injuries in the fracas, the authorities said.

Mykonos is popular with sports stars and celebrities for its all-night nightlife and beaches.

United’s 2019/20 season ended Sunday in a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League semi-finals.

But the club will be back in pre-season training in two weeks and could begin the new Premier League campaign in less than a month.

On Monday, Maguire had tweeted after the elimination: “Time to go away, reflect, recover and be ready to come back stronger next season.”

 

AFP

Maguire In Court Over Police ‘Assault’

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. AFP

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will appear before a Greek prosecutor Saturday to face charges of allegedly assaulting police on the island of Mykonos, with his lawyer promising a swift resolution.

“Everything is going well. Maguire denies the charges. If all goes well, we’ll be done (today),” Constantinos Darivas told Greek sports website gazzetta.gr.

Darivas added that the England centre-back was in “fine condition” despite spending two nights in detention since his Thursday night arrest.

Maguire will be taken before a prosecutor before midday.

The case is being heard on the island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos.

The £80-million (88-million-euro) defender was arrested early Friday after what Greek police described as an “altercation” between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos.

A Greek police statement on Friday said that three men aged 27, 28 and 29 had been arrested in Mykonos.

Greek state agency ANA identified the suspects as Maguire, his brother and a friend.

The police said an officer was punched on the scene, and that a second fight had broken out at the local police station where the three men “strenuously resisted (arrest), pushing and striking three officers.”

One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to hush up the incident, the police said.

The suspects are accused of assault, resisting arrest, verbally insulting and threatening the arresting officers, and attempted bribery, the police said.

Four Mykonos officers sustained slight injuries in the fracas, the authorities said.

Mykonos is popular with sports stars and celebrities for its all-night nightlife and beaches.

United on Friday said in a brief statement they were “aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night.”

“Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully cooperating with the Greek authorities.

“At this time we will be making no further comment,” the club added.

AFP

Maguire Named As New Man Utd Captain, With Young Set For Exit

Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire gestures at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 11, 2020.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Harry Maguire as Manchester United’s new captain less than six months after his £80 million ($104 million) move from Leicester.

Maguire will take over as skipper from Ashley Young, who is expected to complete his move to Inter Milan pending a medical on Friday.

“Harry has come in and been wearing the captain’s armband and he will keep wearing it,” said Solskjaer.

“He has been a leader in the group and I have not been surprised but impressed with his leadership skills.”

Solskjaer cast doubt on Marcus Rashford’s hopes of shaking off a back injury for Sunday’s clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Rashford made a brief appearance in the midweek FA Cup win over Wolves, which may have cost him his chances of figuring at Anfield.

Solskjaer said: “We’re going to give him the absolute amount of time but I am not going to hold my breath.

“I would think that he probably wouldn’t be ready but he’s still got 48 hours so let’s see.”

AFP

Hip Injury Rules Maguire Out For Several Weeks

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire

 

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire could be sidelined for several weeks with a hip injury, according to British media reports on Wednesday.

Maguire missed United’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday as a result of the problem.

It was originally thought Maguire’s injury was a foot problem sustained in the goalless FA Cup third round draw at Wolves last Saturday.

There has been no official confirmation from United on a likely return date for the England international.

But Maguire, who joined United from Leicester last year, is not expected to feature in Saturday’s Premier League match against Norwich.

Given United’s key run of fixtures coming up, which includes a trip to Premier League leaders Liverpool on January 19, an extended absence for the £80 million centre-back would represent a significant blow for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

When addressing the issue following the defeat by City, Solskjaer had been optimistic Maguire would not be out for long, but it appears that is no longer the case.

“We don’t know (about Maguire). He’s not going to be long term, but I don’t think he’ll be ready for the weekend, but let’s see,” Solskjaer said.

AFP

Man United Lucky To Have ‘Special Talent’ Greenwood, Says Maguire

Manchester United’s striker Mason Greenwood scores their fourth goal during the UEFA Europa League group L football match between Manchester United and AZ Almaar at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 12, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Harry Maguire believes Manchester United are lucky to have “special talent” Mason Greenwood after the teenager scored his seventh goal of the season to rescue a point against Everton.

With the club celebrating reaching 4,000 consecutive matches featuring a youth product in their squad, the exciting 18-year-old came off the bench to seal a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Greenwood has long been touted as a future United star and underlined his potential with a fine finish, fresh from hitting two goals in a man of-the-match display against AZ Alkmaar in Thursday’s Europa League encounter.

“It’s a great finish again,” said Maguire. “I think it’s pretty similar to his goal in midweek, to be honest. He’s a special talent, he’s a young boy, he’s working hard in training.

“He needs to keep his head down, not get carried away and I’m sure he’s going to have a big future for this club and we’re lucky to have him.”

Greenwood’s performance off the bench against Everton was one of few positives on a frustrating afternoon, with United failing to build on impressive Premier League wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.

Victor Lindelof’s own goal gave Duncan Ferguson’s side the lead and infuriated Maguire, who could not understand why VAR gave the opener the green light after Dominic Calvert-Lewin caught David de Gea as the corner came in.

Pushed on Everton’s goal, Maguire told MUTV: “Quite simply, I’ve watched it back, it’s a foul. It is frustrating.

“Nowadays, you can’t impede the goalkeepers. When I am going up for a corner, I know I can’t jump above the goalkeeper and make contact with him unless I’m making contact with the ball at the same time.”

“Then you see their player has charged in, he’s made contact with David, he hasn’t made contact with the ball. It should be a foul.”

The draw leaves United in sixth place in the Premier League table, four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

AFP

Maguire Frustrated Over United Defensive Lapses

Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire (L) vies with Aston Villa’s Brazilian striker Wesley (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 1, 2019.
PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Harry Maguire is frustrated that defensive lapses are costing Manchester United crucial points after they let slip a winning position for the second consecutive match against Aston Villa.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were leading 2-1 midway through the second half at Old Trafford on Sunday before a Tyrone Mings equaliser forced them to share the points.

The 2-2 draw left United in ninth place in the Premier League with 18 points from 14 matches, their worst return at a similar stage since 1988/89.

United also conceded a late goal in the previous week in a 3-3 draw against Sheffield United after storming back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.

“We got ourselves in a great position in the second half (against Villa) and again conceded a sloppy goal really,” Maguire told MUTV.

“As a defender especially, it’s frustrating,” he added. “We haven’t really conceded many chances or goals prior to the last two games and then we’ve conceded five.”

Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time since he was sacked a year ago with a resurgent Tottenham side on Wednesday before United make the short trip to neighbours Manchester City at the weekend.

Solskjaer has to find a way to turn draws into wins, having managed just six victories in 22 league matches since being appointed permanent manager in March.

Maguire believes the quick turnaround from Sunday to Wednesday could help United after their recent disappointments.

“It’s perfect. When you don’t win any football match you want a game as soon as possible to put things right,” he said. “And there’s no better way than to play Tottenham here at Old Trafford.”

AFP

Maguire Ready For United, Leicester EPL Clash

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire

 

Harry Maguire faces his old club Leicester for the first time this weekend with the Manchester United defender looking up the Premier League table at his high-flying former employers.

When Maguire made his world-record £80 million ($97 million) move to Old Trafford this summer, it was widely seen as a step-up for the 26-year-old, the opportunity to prove himself on a larger stage.

But as Brendan Rodgers brings the Foxes to Old Trafford, he does so with Leicester five places and three points above United in the early-season league table.

Transport for Greater Manchester, who have become known in the city for their witty electronic message boards warning of forthcoming events, even joined in the debate billing the fixture as a “Race for 6th!” this week.

But, with Leicester currently sitting in third and supporters daring to dream of the unforgettable 2015-16 campaign when their club ended the season as champions, Maguire could be forgiven for looking slightly enviously at the team mates he left behind.

Leicester’s unbeaten start to the current season has been in stark contrast to the stuttering opening endured by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The opening-day demolition of Chelsea hinted at better times ahead for the Norwegian at the start of his first full campaign as United manager.

But underwhelming draws at Wolves and Southampton sandwiched a demoralising home defeat to Crystal Palace and the fact United have missed two penalties in those games, one by Paul Pogba and one by Marcus Rashford has added to the sense of looming crisis.

Maguire’s form has followed United’s, strong and impressive at first but increasingly less so, culminating in his midweek performance for England in which he was part of a defence that performed poorly in a 5-3 win over Kosovo.

Whatever his shortcomings in some areas, Maguire has, at least, made an impression on his new team-mates every bit as strong as the one he left at Leicester.

“It’s been seamless,” said United reserve keeper Lee Grant. “Harry has definitely slotted straight in, in terms of the social side and in terms of his mentality and attitude, which has been first class.

“The most important thing, though, is his quality and he was able to show that against Chelsea. We could all see he is quite at home in front of the Old Trafford crowd and quite at home as a Manchester United player.”

With Jamie Vardy, ably supported by in-form James Maddison, having been one of the stars of Leicester’s early-season flourish, the battle between the current and former Leicester team mates promises to be one of the highlights of the game.

Maddison has a chance to make a good impression on one of his potential future suitors this weekend.

The playmaker is reportedly being monitored by United as they ponder making a move for the emerging young England midfielder.

The form of top four contenders United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham has been so erratic to date that Leicester will genuinely feel capable of securing a place in the Champions League next season.

At the very least, the prospect of Leicester finishing above United is all too real.

The Foxes, under Claudio Ranieri, of course finished above United, and every other English club, in 2016 when they won the title, but before that it was 1973-74 when Leicester previously enjoyed a higher finish than the Old Trafford outfit.

However, last season United finished just three places above Leicester, suggesting the gap between the two is closing – a fact Maguire may discover for himself when he re-acquaints himself with the Foxes.

AFP

Maguire Calls For Social Media Clampdown Over Pogba’s Racist Abuse

 

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire called on social media giants Twitter and Instagram to be more pro-active to stop “pathetic trolls” after teammate Paul Pogba became the latest player to suffer racist abuse online.

Pogba was targeted after his penalty was saved in United’s 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday just days after Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham suffered similar abuse.

“Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it,” Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender after an £80 million ($97 million) move from Leicester earlier this month, posted on Twitter.

“Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people. @Twitter @instagram.”

United said they were “disgusted” by the abuse and “utterly condemn” it.

“The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also,” the club said in a statement.

“Manchester United has zero-tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.

“We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases.”

Many commentators argued that Pogba should have let Marcus Rashford take the vital penalty at Molineux after the England international scored from the spot against Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season.

However, Rashford also showed his public support for Pogba.

“Manchester United is a family. @paulpogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all…” said Rashford.

As well as Abraham, Championship side Reading’s Yakou Meite have suffered similar abuse in the past week.

Anti-discrimination charity “Kick It Out” published a report in July that stated incidents of racist abuse increased by 43 per cent last season.

“The number of posts such as these since the start of the season further highlights how discriminatory abuse online is out of control,” the body said on Tuesday.

“Without immediate and the strongest possible action, these cowardly acts will continue to grow.”

Abraham missed the final penalty in a shootout as Chelsea lost to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup last Wednesday. The posts aimed at him were described as “abhorrent” by Chelsea and manager Frank Lampard said he was “disgusted”.

Lampard also called for social media sites to do more to prevent players from being abused while Abraham has said he wants to “silence the haters” with his performances on the pitch.

Chelsea banned a supporter for life in July for racially abusing Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling last season.

Five others were excluded for periods of between one and two years for abusive language.

Ivory Coast international Meite missed a penalty in time added on for Reading on Sunday against Cardiff but his side had the match already wrapped up at 3-0.

Some of the tweets aimed at Pogba were later deleted while several accounts appeared to have been taken down.

Twitter’s terms and conditions say it “takes action against behaviour that targets individuals with hateful conduct”.

AFP

United Make Maguire World’s Most Expensive Defender

Leicester City’s English defender Harry Maguire celebrates during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Leicester City at The London Stadium, in east London on April 20, 2019.  Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester on Monday for a reported £80 million fee that makes the England center-back the world’s most expensive defender.

United have secured Maguire on a six-year contract with an option for a further 12-month extension.

The £75 million Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018 was the previous record fee for a defender.

However, Juventus’ capture of Van Dijk’s Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt earlier this month (July) could rise to 85.5 million euros (£77 million) in add-ons.

It is also a record fee between Premier League clubs, surpassing Van Dijk’s move to Anfield from Southampton and Romelu Lukaku’s switch from Everton to Manchester United.

READ ALSO: Marseille Sign Argentine Striker Benedetto

“I am delighted to have signed for this great club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity,” Maguire told United’s website.

“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”

Maguire, 26, could make his debut in his new club’s Premier League opener at home to Chelsea on Sunday and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident he will live up to his hefty price tag.

“Harry is one of the best center-backs in the game today and I am delighted we have secured his signature,” he said.

“He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure – coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes – I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch.

“He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club.”

Manchester City had been interested in Maguire, but Pepe Guardiola admitted on Sunday that the champions couldn’t afford his huge fee.

 Meteoric rise 

Maguire, 26, shot to prominence for his performances at last year’s World Cup as England reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.

United were interested in his signature last summer but baulked at Leicester’s asking price.

A year on and with the heart of their defence brutally exposed in finishing sixth in the Premier League last season to miss out on Champions League qualification, the Red Devils finally paid the fee the Foxes’ demanded.

Solskjaer had made strengthening central defence a priority, with that need only becoming more acute when Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury during the pre-season tour of China which is expected to keep him out for at least four months.

Maguire’s arrival also continues the trend of United targeting young British talent rather than big-name foreign imports.

The English giants have already splashed nearly £70 million on promising youngsters Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Maguire started his career at Sheffield United before making the leap into the Premier League with Hull in 2014.

After impressing even as the Tigers were relegated two years ago, he joined Leicester in a £17 million deal.

His England debut followed in October 2017 and he emerged as one of the unlikely stars of the World Cup, where he featured in all of the Three Lions’ seven games and scored in the quarter-final victory over Sweden.

That signified a meteoric rise for Maguire who just two years previously had travelled as a fan to support England at Euro 2016.

Nicknamed “slab head” by former Leicester teammate Jamie Vardy for his physical prowess in the air, Maguire has also impressed with his ability to play out from the back.

However, City were less in need to break the bank for the 26-year-old after winning the first ever domestic treble of trophies in English football history.

By contrast, United need to shore up a defence that conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season and are counting on Maguire’s presence to cut the massive gap to rivals City and European champions Liverpool.

AFP