Leicester City manager Claude Puel has this evening joked that Manchester United’s pursuit of Harry Maguire was simply a diversion tactic in anticipation of the meeting between the sides next Friday.
Maguire, a 25-year-old central defender, only made the move to the King Power Stadium from Hull City last summer, following a stellar debut campaign in the Premier League with the Tigers.
Maguire was widely praised not only for his defensive traits, highlighted by a burly 6ft4 inch frame, but also for his abilities on the ball during his time at the KCOM Stadium, with Leicester having beaten off the competition of a number of other English top-flight clubs to eventually secure the stopper’s signature for an initial fee of £12 million.
And, following his most impressive club campaign to date this past season, backed by a superb showing for England at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Maguire’s star has only continued its rapid ascent, with reports in the English media over the last couple of weeks having suggested that Manchester United were considering a move for the Sheffield United youth product.
Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho is known to be on the lookout for central defensive reinforcements this summer, with the report having even gone as far as to claim that Manchester United value Maguire at around £65 million.
However, one individual has today lightheartedly suggested that the Red Devils’ pursuit of Leicester’s star defender may have in fact had an ulterior motive behind it.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Leicester manager Claude Puel was questioned on United’s reported chase of Maguire, with the French tactician having joked that the Old Trafford outfit may have simply made use of the rumour to distract the Foxes ahead of the Premier League opener between the two sides next Friday:
‘I think perhaps United wanted to make trouble before our game.’
‘It’s not the thing to try to make trouble but I think he’s a better player for us.’
‘It’s our intent to keep him and just a few days before the start of the season it would not be a good thing for the squad, for confidence and for Leicester Football Club.’