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BREAKING - United Smash World Record Fee For a Defender

Solskjaer finally gets his man ...

Stoke City v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly
Harry Maguire joins Manchester United from Leicester City for 80million pounds.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United have flexed their financial muscle, reaching an agreement with Brendan Rogers’ Leicester City for England centre-back, Harry Maguire (26), reports BBC Sport within the last hour.

It will cost the Old Trafford club a £80m - a world record for a defender - eclipsing the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January 2018.

United will be hoping that Maguire has the same steadying effect that the Dutchman has provided Liverpool, helping form a defensive platform from which the club conquered Europe.

Maguire, who made 69 Premier League appearances for Leicester after joining from Hull City in 2017, becomes United’s third summer signing following Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, from Crystal Palace and Swansea respectively.

United have been pursuing Maguire’s signature for some time, heightened by his performances at the 2018 World Cup for England. At times cross-town rivals City were rumoured to also be interested in the player. United under Mourinho backed away from a deal 12 months ago, because they felt then, a £70m asking price was too high.

It’s a huge investment even by United’s standards, for a player that enhanced his reputation in Russia. Maguire went into that tournament merely as England’s best option at centre-back, and emerged from it perceived as a huge success and automatic choice.

There will be many however still unconvinced about the outlay for what they consider a ‘good’ (think solid, dependable) rather than ‘great’ player.

One thing Maguire should add is a degree of on-field leadership to squad that is severely lacking where that’s concerned.

If he can be the rock upon which a United revival can be built remains to be seen. One man alone cannot generate the improvement needed, but if Maguire proves the beginning of a successful Solskjaer Revolution, it will eventually be considered £80m well spent.

Only time will tell.