Harry Maguire has become the most expensive defender in world football after Manchester United confirmed his £80m transfer from Leicester. The England international has signed a six-year contract at Old Trafford after passing a medical.
“I am delighted to have signed for this great club,” he said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club and the fans for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.
“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole [Gunnar Solskjær] is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting the season started.”
His fee eclipses the £75m Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018 and gives Leicester a considerable profit on the £17m deal that brought Maguire from Hull City two years ago. Manchester City were also interested in the 26-year-old centre-half but, as Pep Guardiola explained after the Community Shield victory on Sunday, the Premier League champions refused to meet Leicester’s valuation of a player capped 20 times by England.
United finally met the asking price last week, having had two previous bids rejected this summer, with manager Solskjær anxious to address a long-standing weakness in his club’s defence. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka already signed at a cost of £45m this summer, United’s overdue reconstruction of their back-line has now cost £125m.
“Harry is one of the best centre-backs in the game today and I am delighted we have secured his signature,” said Solskjær. “He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch with the ability to remain calm under pressure – coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes – I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch. He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club. I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season.”