Harry Maguire says that he had his heart set on a move to Old Trafford once Manchester United came calling, despite further Manchester City interest.
The 28-year-old has earned a reputation as arguably England’s best defender in recent seasons. However, he made his name at Leicester after moving to the East Midlands from Hull in 2017. From there, he progressed and attracted the attention of Premier League giants in the summer of 2018.
Despite the advances from both Manchester clubs, though, Maguire stayed on until the end of 2018/19.
However, he then took his chance, becoming the world’s most expensive defender in an £80million deal to United.
“They were both interested,” the England international said.
“I spoke to both Man City and Man United, but I must say, and no disrespect to Man City, but I grew up watching a lot more of Manchester United football at Old Trafford, being at one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest. So I always had my heart set on this club.
“I spoke to Pep [Guardiola] and the football that they play and what he’s done for the club. I have great respect for Pep and the evolution he has brought to football, but it was Man United.
'Harry Maguire would be the biggest loss for England' - Gary Neville
Gary Neville discusses who would be the biggest England player to lose for the Euros and feels centre-half Harry Maguire would be the biggest miss due to a lack of quality in defence.
“My heart was set from the amount of interest they showed in me. It gave me great confidence and belief and for them to pursue it for a 12 to 15-month period of time showed how much they believed in me and how much they felt like I would be a big part of the team.”
Maguire has had a stellar impact at United, becoming the captain and playing every Premier League game before his recent ankle injury.
Furthermore, he has racked up 32 England caps and will play a key role at Euro 2020.
Maguire could have moved up north earlier than he did. However, he revealed that he formed a gentleman’s agreement with the late Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Maguire reveals Leicester transfer agreement
“I spoke to Vichai and he said they’d had a lot of interest from Manchester United when Jose [Mourinho] was the manager and he said ‘give me one more year, and I’ll let you go’,” Maguire said.
“So I didn’t really push anything and as soon as I heard about the interest from United, it was something that I knew I had my heart set on and I knew I wanted to play for that club.
“But I think the age that I was, maybe 25 years old, I always knew that I had time on my hand and Vichai stuck to his word.”
Leicester have since added another star recruit to their defence in Wesley Fofana, who is already entertaining links with a move elsewhere.