Manchester United should forget about the transfer fee and sign Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, says Wes Brown.
The Reds are set on landing a new centre-back before the Premier League transfer window shits, with England World Cup star Maguire at the top of Jose Mourinho’s wishlist.
Leicester don’t want to sell such a prized asset so late in the transfer window and have reportedly slapped a £80 million price tag on the 25-year-old, which represents a world-record fee, surpassing Liverpool’s £75 million signing of Virgil van Dijk.
But given the player’s talent, Brown doesn’t think his price should matter when it comes to signing him.
Speaking exclusively to 888sport, Brown said: “Maguire had a fantastic tournament and has been really good for Leicester since joining them from Hull. He’s shown that he can play on the world stage. That’s the sort of player Manchester United need. He knows the Premier League and knows what it’s about.
“I never talk about the money side of it because if a player will strengthen your team then the transfer fee is what it is. I don’t talk about the money. All I care about is whether he will be good for the team and he definitely would be a great signing.”
An interesting assessment from Brown and manager Mourinho probably agrees. United are the biggest football club in the world, with significant financial strength, but have yet to really break the bank on a big signing this summer.
A defender of high calibre should have topped Ed Woodward’s list months before the transfer window opened, so why are we still waiting?
Mourinho is getting a raw deal from his vice-executive as things stand. Are we really going into another season with the terrifying possibility of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones starting the back? Mourinho didn’t make much use of his best centre-back, Eric Bailly, towards the end of last season. That’s another issue that needs to be addressed.
However, there is another name doing the rounds for a much cheaper fee.
Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina is wanted by several clubs having impressed for Colombia at the World Cup and Brown also feels he could be a good fit at Old Trafford.
“[Yerry] Mina could be a good partner for Bailly,” he added. “Obviously, he’s not played in the Premier League before but he actually did very well in the World Cup. I think Harry Maguire would be first choice but that doesn’t take anything away from Mina who is a good player.”
Where would two centre-back signings leave Smalling? Brown suggests the England international may need to leave United for the sake of his career.
“Chris Smalling two seasons ago was United’s best defender,” he noted. “Then Jose started to make a few changes and he hasn’t played a lot since then. He might have had a word with the manager already asking what the plan is for his future and if Jose has said he won’t be playing much then it’s in Chris’ best interests to leave and get first team football. If he’s not said that though then there is still competition for places there.
“Chris is still at a good age and will want to be playing.”