Manchester United captain Harry Maguire could be about to leave the club to join another Premier League side if claims emerging on Sunday are to be believed.
Maguire moved to Man Utd from Leicester in 2019 and, after making a good impression initially, rose to the rank of captain. However, his form over the past couple of seasons has been under scrutiny.
Now, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have proven themselves as a more reliable partnership at centre-back. In turn, Maguire has made just four starts in the Premier League so far this season.
Still a solid performer whenever he represents England, though, Maguire might just need a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
There have been various claims in recent months about what his next step could be after Man Utd. And although he remains under contract there until 2025 with the option of a further year, he could be about to take that leap.
According to a tweet from reporter Anil Kandola on Sunday, Maguire is now “on the verge” of a transfer to Aston Villa. It is not exactly clear whether he meant a loan or permanent move.
Despite promising there was more to follow, Kandola has since deleted the tweet.
Currently midtable in the Premier League, Aston Villa have tried to show some ambition in the transfer market in recent years. It hasn’t always paid off, but now they need to shape their squad for Unai Emery.
In defence, they currently have Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Calum Chambers and Jan Bednarek. They also signed Diego Carlos in the summer, only to lose him to a serious injury.
And with Bednarek only on loan too and Mings into the last 18 months of his contract, investing in their backline could be important.
Harry Maguire could gain more gametime at Aston Villa
Therefore, Villa could be readying a shock move for Maguire. They would be the fourth club he has represented in the Premier League after Hull City, Leicester and Man Utd.
Maguire would be sacrificing his involvement in European football by making the move. However, he should be able to amass more gametime at Villa Park than he is getting at Old Trafford.
What’s more, Man Utd continue to be linked with other defenders they could bring in, such as Milan Skriniar. Therefore, the competition for Maguire’s place might only be about to increase.
With that in mind, Villa may have spotted an opportunity to bring in an established England international. And at the age of 29, it should suit him to play more regularly.
The update, coincidentally, comes after Maguire was spotted at a bar in the West Midlands on Saturday night. Either that is where the link has come from, or his presence was not a coincidence.
Only time will tell what the truth is behind Maguire’s presence in that region, and whether or not he will actually be joining Villa. Given Kandola has withdrawn his tweet – and other sources have issued denials – maybe there is actually nothing more to it.
Even so, Maguire’s future is still a case to keep a close eye on.