Early signs were positive for Manchester United. With the 2017/18 season only just concluded, deals for Brazilian midfielder Fred and young Portuguese full back Diogo Dalot were completed, hinting at a comprehensive summer overhaul at Old Trafford. However, that has since proved to be something of a false dawn.

Those two deals are the only signings United have made this summer. They have been frustrated in their efforts to sign top targets, with Spurs holding firm in their valuation of Toby Alderweireld and Juventus reportedly unwilling to let Alex Sandro leave Turin. Now, according to media reports this week, Jose Mourinho has turned his attention to Harry Maguire.

Mourinho’s men are the favourites to snap up the Leicester defender before the end of the current transfer window.

Of course, Maguire’s stock has never been higher. The 25-year-old was a star for England at the World Cup, excelling in a back three alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker as the Three Lions went all the way to the semi finals. So would Maguire be a shrewd signing for Man Utd or would he be a post-World Cup panic buy?

While Maguire undoubtedly impressed for England in Russia, the centre back has yet to prove himself at the top of the club game, having only joined Leicester City last summer. United need a centre back who can perform at Champions League level, and at the elite level of the Premier League. Maguire might not be that ready-made option, certainly when compared to someone like Alderweireld.


At 25, it’s possible that Maguire will continue to develop and improve, meaning the reported £50 million fee demanded by Leicester might be an investment in the future. At 29, the signing of Alderweireld would be a short-term solution. But is Maguire really that much better than the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling? He might represent an upgrade, but would that upgrade be sufficient enough? Maguire’s signing wouldn’t be the reflection of a club with a coherent transfer strategy.

The Red Devils have made these sort of post-World Cup mistakes before. Four years ago, they bought Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo on the back of their impressive performances at the 2014 World Cup for Netherlands and Argentina respectively. While both players made for decent squad figures, they weren’t good enough to carry Man Utd back to the top of the English game.


And so it’s possible that United are repeating past mistakes. This summer has seen them stall in their efforts to overhaul their squad and with just weeks left of the transfer window, panic has set in. Maguire wouldn’t be a bad signing, but is he really what’s needed to close that gap on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League?

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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