Manchester United’s hunt for a striker this January transfer window is well-known but there is also the chance that a few players might end up leaving the club this month — either temporarily or on a permanent basis.
One such rumour which appeared out of left field on Sunday was the possible departure of club captain Harry Maguire with Aston Villa set to bid for the defender.
It is no secret that the England star is having a torrid season under Erik ten Hag and has fallen so far down the pecking order that left-back Luke Shaw is now preferred in central defence instead of the £80million man.
Maguire has fallen down the pecking order at United
The former Leicester City defender has found it difficult to break into the Dutchman’s plans on a consistent basis with United legend Rio Ferdinand even explaining that Maguire should leave the club if he wants to play regularly.
The club skipper has started a measly six times in 26 games across all competitions, with the former Ajax boss preferring the central defensive duo of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez instead.
And that chance was reportedly offered to the 29-year-old by Unai Emery with the Englishman spotted in a restaurant near Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Saturday.
Reports of Harry Maguire deal ‘done’ with Aston Villa are now denied by all parties involved. No negotiations or talks ongoing. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
Maguire is expected to stay at Man United, the position is very clear. pic.twitter.com/R0eaRL3Lp3
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 8, 2023
But with the Red Devils still in with a chance of winning silverware and still in four competitions, Ten Hag does not want to lose personnel ahead of the crucial second-half of the season.
Sources close to the player’s camp have revealed that “Maguire was instead playing golf nearby at The Belfry, one of the leading Championship courses in the UK.”
Despite the denials, it is true that Aston Villa did indeed enquire about the possibility of landing the United star in January.
United rebuff Villa’s attempts at landing club captain
However, it was knocked back by the 20-time English league champions, who have no intention of parting with their captain this season with Ten Hag wanting “defensive cover”.
Villa are in the market for a commanding centre-back capable of playing on the left side and Maguire fits the bill perfectly, hence the attempt.
It remains to be seen if Maguire’s fortunes change following this revelation or if he will regret not jumping ship when he had the chance.
Maguire has the chance to play from the start against Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday. He will be looking to impress in a bid to play more in the Premier League.
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