The future of Harry Maguire has been clarified through a withering put-down amid links to West Ham, and the centre-back’s true intentions have been laid bare, per a report.
The Manchester United captain has been made to take a back seat since Erik ten Hag took charge. The Dutchman favours Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez as his preferred centre-back pairing. Even when Martinez has been absent, Ten Hag has surprisingly opted to play left-back Luke Shaw as a makeshift centre-half.
The last part in particular prompted a stinging response from Man Utd great, Rio Ferdinand.
“If you’re [Maguire] you have to leave now,” Ferdinand recently told his Vibe With Five YouTube channel. “Luke Shaw’s playing centre-back instead of him.
“That’s like me going back after the World Cup, playing well, everyone saying ‘he’s done really well’, and [then] Patrice Evra is playing centre-back.
“I’d want to strangle Patrice! I would’ve smashed Patrice in training to make sure he’s not available, and I’d be going to the manager and saying, ‘are you taking the p*** out of me, boss?’.
“I’d have walked straight into the manager’s office and said, ‘you’re disrespecting me’.
“Harry Maguire’s got to move. I think he stays because of the games and they can’t get someone else in. He plays in the cup games.”
Aston Villa links debunked; West Ham eye loan?
Maguire was surprisingly linked with Aston Villa last week, though that turned out to be a red herring.
Indeed, the speculation had its roots in the simple fact Maguire was spotted playing golf at The Belfry.
The course is located in close proximity to Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground and that is believed to have been the dubious spark behind the rumours.
Instead, a more viable transfer link appeared to emerge on Tuesday. The Mirror’s Darren Lewis reported the 29-year-old was on West Ham’s radar as they search for an upgrade on Craig Dawson. Dawson is wanted by Wolves.
The Mirror reported Man Utd are ready to cash in on Maguire next summer, though may well be inundated with a proposal from the Hammers this month. A potential six-month loan deal was cited.
However, Sky Sports have provided an update on the chances of that scenario unfolding, and it includes a withering response from those close to the player.
Harry Maguire to leave Man Utd? No chance this month
They report people close to Maguire have described West Ham’s chances of signing the centre-half are like ‘flying a kite’.
In other words, the story has been put in the media to gauge which way the wind is blowing and to ascertain whether there’s genuine interest from any and all parties over striking a deal.
As such, a move to the London stadium remains unlikely, especially with Maguire reportedly insistent on ‘at least’ seeing out the season at Old Trafford.
Maguire still hopes to play some part in United’s push for top four. Given recent results, United cannot be discounted from the title race too.
His situation may change at season’s end, especially if Ten Hag pushes for another signing at centre-half.
But for the time being, Maguire to West Ham appears a virtual non-starter.
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