According to a source, Harry Maguire’s desire to stay at Manchester United this summer could jeopardise the Red Devils’ ambitions to recruit Napoli’s Kim Min-jae.
After falling to fifth in the pecking order under Erik ten Hag, Maguire is poised to leave Old Trafford this summer in pursuit of regular game time.
Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez were invincible in the backline until they suffered serious injuries in March, when Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw took over.
As a result, Maguire, who has also been chastised for a number of high-profile gaffes, earned just eight Premier League starts in 2022-23 and was selected on the bench in the EFL Cup final and FA Cup final.
Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, and Aston Villa are all possible destinations for Maguire, and there have been rumours of a player-plus-cash deal with Chelsea featuring Mason Mount.
The 30-year-old is still a valuable member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad, but the Three Lions manager has confessed that his status is “concerning” as the Euro 2020 runners-up attempt to qualify for next year’s continental championships.
Despite the danger of losing his England status, Maguire is said to want to stay and battle for his place at Old Trafford, where he has a contract until 2025.
Kim Min-jae transfer to Manchester United could be blocked
According to 90Min, Maguire’s decision has United executives concerned about their chances of bringing in a new big-name defender this summer, as Ten Hag looks to bolster his backline further.
Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Axel Tuanzebe are all on their way out, while Lindelof’s long-term future is uncertain, but Ten Hag is reportedly hoping to keep the Swede.
Other defensive departures, however, might leave the Dutchman thin on the ground, and a deal for Napoli and South Korean star Kim is thought to be on Man United’s list.
According to the source, Man United may be forced to reassess their transfer plan if Maguire continues to refuse a move, but some club executives will still want to recruit a replacement center-back.
Kim finished his debut season at Napoli with a Serie A champions’ medal around his neck, while the former Leicester City man has seven goals and five assists to show from 175 games in a Red Devils jersey.
The 26-year-old scored twice and assisted twice in 35 Serie A appearances for the Partenopei, while also starting nine Champions League games on his way to the quarter-finals.
Kim’s deal with Napoli extends through 2025, with a two-year extension option, although his clauses reportedly include a €50 million (£42.7 million) release clause that will be activated for two weeks in early July.
As a result, Napoli is aiming to tie the defender down to a new contract in the absence of such an option, but the consensus is that he will move on, with Paris Saint-Germain presently thought to be in the driving seat for his signing.
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