Manchester United could reportedly include Harry Maguire in a package for Chelsea star Mason Mount, to make up the £70million asking price.
Maguire’s role at United is not what it once was. In his first season after an £80million move from Leicester City – making him the most expensive defender ever – he played every single league game.
He played the majority of games the following season, too. Last campaign was a tough one for United, in which Maguire once again played a lot of football.
During the campaign, it seems he was identified as a weak link. The signing of Raphael Varane upped the level of the defence, but Maguire was often criticised, with United finishing sixth.
This season, with Erik ten Hag bringing Lisandro Martinez in, Maguire’s game time has dropped off massively.
The Englishman has played just 16 times in the league this season, either in a backup role from the bench, or as a deputy for one of the injured starters.
With his role dwindling, it’s been suggested a move away would be the best course of action. That could be to the detriment of United.
While getting a saleable asset with a large salary off the books seems a good thing on the surface, the club may be forced to foot a £10million bill in order to pay some of that salary off, with the defender likely not receiving anywhere close to his current wage at his next club.
Ten Hag prepares to sacrifice Maguire for Mount
However, Ten Hag might be able to pull off a smart piece of business which would see the club benefit. Indeed, United are reported to be interested in Chelsea star Mount.
It’s been suggested the Blues want £70million for their star, with some, including transfer insider Fabrizio Romano, even stating they could ask for £80million.
The Sun reports United could use Maguire as part of the package to land Mount. While the defender won’t be worth the £80million he was signed from Leicester for, he still has two years left on his deal.
That means he’ll be worth at least a chunk of that – £30million has been suggested – and with the report stating United are ‘some distance away’ from agreeing a fee with Chelsea for Mount, Maguire could make up what they want.
The Blues won’t be in the strongest negotiating position. They know they need to get players off the books so that they’re not burned by Financial FairPlay regulations.
With that being said, Mount is likely the player that would bring in the most money.
Chelsea may not want Maguire
As such, it remains to be seen whether they’d accept part of the money they want along with Maguire. That would seemingly depend on whether they think they could get the full fee from anybody.
There’s also a question mark over whether they’d want the defender. He is an experienced Premier league player, but hasn’t been on top form for a while.
What’s more, of the five senior centre-backs at Chelsea, three have walked through the door in the past year.
They could see that as a reason not to bring in another one. On the flip side, they could perceive the fact they conceded 47 goals in the Premier League this season as cause to add a new defender into the mix.