News ID: 256876
Published: 0256 GMT August 05, 2019

Maguire joins Manchester United as world's most expensive defender

Maguire joins Manchester United as world's most expensive defender
New Manchester United signing Harry Maguire is pictured in United’s shirt at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain, on August 5, 2019.

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender in world football after Manchester United confirmed his £80-million transfer from Leicester.

The England international signed a six-year contract with an option for a further 12 months at Old Trafford after passing a medical, the Guardian reported.

“I am delighted to have signed for this great club,” he said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club and the fans for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.

“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 [Gunnar Solskjær] is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting the season started.”

His fee eclipses the £75 million Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018 and gives Leicester a considerable profit on the £17m deal that brought Maguire from Hull City two years ago. Manchester City was also interested in the 26-year-old center-half but, as Pep Guardiola explained after the Community Shield victory on Sunday, the Premier League champion refused to meet Leicester’s valuation of a player capped 20 times by England.

United finally met the asking price last week, having had two previous bids rejected this summer, with manager Solskjær anxious to address a long-standing weakness in his club’s defense. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka already signed at a cost of £45 million this summer, United’s overdue reconstruction of its backline has now cost £125 million.

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

“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. I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season.”


Done with Dybala


United, meanwhile, ended talks with Paulo Dybala because of the Juventus striker's wage demands.

United entered talks with the Argentine, 25, as part of a proposed swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, 26, BBC Sport reported.

However, the Red Devils were dubious about whether Dybala wanted to join them.

Solskjaer has targeted young, hungry players and Old Trafford officials decided that further bids for Dybala would be a move away from that.

Uncertainty remains over the future of Belgium striker Lukaku, who joined the United from Everton for an initial £75 million in July 2017 and scored 12 league goals last term.

United rejected a €60 million (£53.9m) bid from Juve’s Serie A rival Inter Milan for Lukaku in July.

Inter boss Antonio Conte has said he is still hopeful of signing Lukaku.

"We continue to work on it in the best possible way," the former Chelsea manager said after his team's preseason friendly draw at Tottenham.

"I understand there are some gaps that need to be filled, but at the moment I am very hopeful that this will happen."


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