Erik ten Hag is working to revamp his Manchester United squad this summer as he prepares for a second season in the Premier League.
Ten Hag steered United to the Carabao Cup title at the start of 2023, ending a six-year wait for a trophy, with the Red Devils also securing a Champions League qualification spot in the campaign run-in.
However, changes are incoming at Old Trafford, with England star Mason Mount already arriving from Chelsea, and long-serving goalkeeper David de Gea leaving after 12 years at the club.
The next big name to follow De Gea out of the club could be Harry Maguire with Ten Hag set for key talks with the defender over his long-term future in Manchester.
Harry Maguire transfer latest: Defender loses captaincy
On July 16, Harry Maguire confirmed he had been stripped of the club captaincy after a meeting with manager Erik ten Hag.
“After discussions with the manager today he has informed me he is changing captain,” Maguire said in a post on social media. “He outlined his reasons to me and whilst I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt.”
After discussions with the manager today he has informed me he is changing captain. He outlined his reasons to me and whilst I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt.
So I wanted to say a massive thank you to the… pic.twitter.com/TAOS0eisF1
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 16, 2023
Ten Hag has consistently backed Maguire, despite reducing the player to effectively fourth-choice centre-back over the course of last season amid apparent concerns over his playing style.
However, as the squad return to preseason training, Ten Hag will be looking for clarity over Maguire’s future before the squad travel to the USA this month.
It is anticipated United will listen to offers for Maguire, but they have little desire to force the player to leave and will not accept any cut-price approach in the transfer market. As per reports from local outlet the Manchester Evening News, United’s early asking price of £50 million/$63.8 million has put off Premier League sides with an interest in Maguire, and their valuation is expected to drop to around £30m/$38.2m.
Maguire started just eight Premier League games in 2022/23, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane established as Ten Hag’s preferred defensive pairing, with Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw preferred as cover in those central defensive positions.
Ten Hag wants a right-foot/left-foot balance in his centre-back duo. Despite his strong aerial ability, Maguire’s relative inefficiency with the ball compared with United’s other central defenders, plus a lack of pace, has counted against him.
Gareth Southgate has hinted Maguire’s Euro 2024 place could be under threat if he continues to play a peripheral role at United, which could convince the player that he would be better served leaving.
Who is new Man United captain?
Maguire was named as club captain by former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January 2020, following Ashley Young’s mid-season move to Inter Milan.
The 30-year-old has kept the armband since, with Ten Hag content to keep Maguire as skipper following his arrival at the club last summer.
However, based on Maguire’s reduced role in Ten Hag’s first campaign, Bruno Fernandes became United’s de-facto matchday captain, although the defender remained the official club captain.
Based on 2022/23’s data, Maguire captained the team 16 times, with Fernandes wearing the armband in 44 games, alongside one game each for the departed Cristiano Ronaldo and Wout Weghorst.
Fernandes is expected to be made permanent United skipper, although United have not yet communicated anything to that effect.
Harry Maguire Man United contract, transfer fee
United secured a deal to bring Maguire to Old Trafford ahead of the 2019/20 season, after failing to secure him the previous summer, on the back of a strong showing for England at the 2018 World Cup.
Leicester City eventually accepted an improved offer of £80m/$102m for Maguire, making him the most expensive defender of all time, surpassing Virgil van Dijk’s £75m/$95m move to Liverpool in 2018.
Maguire signed a six-year contract, bringing him up to the end of the 2024/25 season, with United unlikely to activate their clause to extend his deal by a further 12 months.
Maguire, like many United players, is said to have received a pay rise following qualification for this season’s Champions League. It is those high wages that are proving a problem when it comes to offloading the player to another club.
Harry Maguire Man United career, trophies
Heading into the 2023/24 season, Maguire has made 118 Premier League appearances across four campaigns at United, with 175 across all competitions.
Last season’s Carabao Cup title win is his only trophy success at the club after losing out to Villarreal in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League final and last season’s FA Cup final to Manchester City.