Harry Maguire will reportedly be sold by Manchester United this summer, with a report stating the Red Devils have already tied up a deal for his would-be replacement.
The England defender joined United for a huge £80m in summer 2019 from Leicester. The fee they paid the Foxes remains, to this day, the most expensive amount ever spent on a defender. Now 29, Maguire has appeared for United on 138 occasions, captaining the side in many of them.
However, Maguire has never quite managed to justify his fee and doubts remain over his quality in a United shirt. Furthermore, Roy Keane is among those to have called out Maguire’s leadership qualities on more than one occasion.
Indeed, having kept just six clean sheets in the Premier League this season, it’s easy to understand the criticism. Part of United’s success over the last 25 years has been based on their ability to shut the opposition out.
As such, it’s little surprise to see reports suggesting United are looking to move Maguire on.
Clearly United would struggle to get anywhere near the sort of money they spent on him in the first place. And finding a buyer for the 41-times capped England star will be perhaps easier said than done.
However, multiple reports suggest Ralf Rangnick is looking for an upgrade in the side this summer. And on more than occasion, the name of Manuel Akanji has popped up.
Akanji tipped to replace Harry Maguire
The Switzerland defender has been with Borussia Dortmund since January 2018, signing from Basel. He’s since become a regular in their defence, clocking up just over 150 appearances.
Still just 26, his better years are still ahead of him.
However, his deal at the Westfalonstadion expires in summer 2023 and talks over an extension are yet to bear fruit.
That leaves BVB with something of a dilemma this summer, with a sizeable offer likely to twist their arm.
Indeed, they have already secured his would-be replacement, tying up the signing of Niklas Sule as a free agent.
Manuel Ajanki offered huge wages
Now, according to reports in Spain, United have now secured a deal to bring Akanji to Old Trafford this summer.
While no details of the fee United will pay have been announced, previous reports state United will have no issue agreeing to a financial package for the player.
To that end, Picture recently stated United are offering Akanji a deal worth £260,000 a week. That would earn him a salary far in excess of the £130,000 a week Dortmund are offering him.
The German paper previously also suggests the Red Devils will likely have to pay a fee in the region of £20.8m for the defender.
In addition, another German paper, Ruhr Nachrichten, claims Dortmund will not stand in Akanji’s way if he wants to leave.
And while nothing is likely to be confirmed until the summer, Akanji does look increasingly likely to sign for United.
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