Manchester United ended their interest in Harry Maguire in 2018 after Jose Mourinho warned them spending more than £50million on the defender would ‘embarrass him’, reports say.
United tried to sign Maguire four months before Mourinho’s sacking, with the Portuguese insisting he needed an elite centre-back.
The Mirror claim United went after Leicester City’s Maguire, but were told by the Foxes they would not sell for any figure less than £60m.
Mourinho insisted a fee over £50m would be embarrassing, prompting United to walk away from talks with Leicester.
United would eventually sign Maguire a year later, but paid a staggering £80million for his services.
It is unclear if Maguire can live up to that price tag, but the England international has improved United’s defence since joining their ranks.
Were United to have pushed ahead with plans to sign Maguire in the summer of 2018, they could have saved £20m.
Mourinho would leave the club before the end of the year, but not before he repeatedly insisted the club had not backed him in the transfer market.
While Maguire and his team-mates have struggled for consistency this season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the defender is a future captain at Old Trafford.
‘I think he’s been brilliant,’ said Solskjaer of Maguire.
‘I think he’s come into the dressing room, been a leader, he’s also a leader on the pitch and I’m sure he’s looking forward to playing against his old team.
‘Now he’s here he’s going to be a big part of the future of this club, we’ve watched him enough to know he’s the guy we wanted, that’s why we spent the money we did on him.
‘He’s a definitely a character and personality that can be captain of a big club, in the dressing room he’s a leader by performances, stature and behaviour, he’s a character you’d like to follow, some are technical leaders, some are leaders by voice, he’s got the lot.’
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