Belfast Telegraph

Leicester set to block any Manchester United bid for World Cup hero Maguire

 

By Robert Jones

Leicester are determined to keep Harry Maguire and will tell Manchester United he is not for sale.

The Foxes intend to resist any offer which United may make amid growing interest from Old Trafford.

They are preparing to offer Maguire a new deal, which has been planned as a reward following his fine season at the King Power Stadium.

Maguire enjoyed an excellent debut campaign with the club last term after joining from Hull for £17million.

He broke into the England squad and starred in their run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, scoring in the 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden.

Maguire started every league game for the Foxes last season, scoring twice. He made 44 appearances and won the club's Player of the Season award.

The 25-year-old has four years left to run on his current deal and there is no pressure on the Foxes to sell the former Sheffield United defender.

Leicester do not want to lose Maguire after they sold Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City for £60million earlier this month.

United have been linked with Maguire this summer with boss Jose Mourinho searching for two new signings.

The transfer window closes in two weeks - a day before United host Leicester in the Premier League opener on August 10.

United have already signed Brazil midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk for around £52million and Porto right-back Diogo Dalot for £19million, along with goalkeeper Lee Grant from Stoke.

"One thing is what I would like," Mourinho said. "Another thing is what is going to happen. I would (like to) get two more players."

Mourinho has challenged rivals Liverpool to make good on their summer of spending and win silverware this season.

Mourinho's Anfield counterpart Jurgen Klopp has overseen the arrival of around £175m worth of talent this summer, with Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri all coming through the door.

Klopp has previously been a critic of heavy transfer spending, claiming that he preferred to "do things differently" after United's £89m signing of Paul Pogba in 2016, but then said he had "changed his opinion" when confronted with those comments last week.

Mourinho suggested that Liverpool's spending means his counterpart must now deliver trophies at Anfield.

"The problem is you have to invest well and honestly I think they did very well, because every player they bought are quality players and I'm happy for them," Mourinho said. "I'm also happy to smile and to see that you can change your opinion and change as a person, it's funny.

"But that's okay. But maybe this season finally you demand that they win. You have to be fair.

"With the investments you are making last season, that you made in January, that you make now, that will probably be the record of the Premier League this season, a team that was a finalist in the Champions League - you have to say you are a big candidate, you have to win."

United saw off AC Milan in an epic penalty shoot-out in their International Champions Cup clash in Carson, California yesterday.

Alexis Sanchez's 12th-minute strike was cancelled out three minutes later by Suso and, after the game finished 1-1, the teams needed 26 penalties to separate them as the Red Devils prevailed 9-8.

It continued all the way back to the first takers and Andreas Pereira and Ander Herrera each scored for a second time.

Milan's Franck Kessie, attempting to match Pereira's 'Panenka' finish, sent his second spot-kick over the bar to decide the game.

Belfast Telegraph

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