Inter Milan are fuming at Bayern Munich, who they accuse of raising Benjamin Pavard’s price due to Manchester United’s intervention.
Pavard, who can play both centre back and right back, is unsettled at the Bundesliga giants and was said to be subject of a bid from United, although this was denied by other reports.
United saw him as a replacement for Harry Maguire, who looked set to be joining West Ham after the two clubs agreed a £30 million (€35m) fee.
However, that deal broke down amidst reports that Maguire wanted to go to a bigger club and that he wanted to be compensated by United for the drop in wages he would have to take on the two-year remainder of his contract, said to be around £7 million.
Enter Inter Milan, who despite having already signed two centre backs this summer, wanted a Rolls Royce replacement for PSG-bound Milan Skriniar.
Sky Germany reported that Inter came in with a bid of €30m plus €5 million in bonuses, but that Bayern were holding out for €40 million, but this differed considerably from the story coming out of the news houses of Italy.
Both Corriere dello Sport (CdS) and Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Inter had bid €20m+€5m, were prepared to raise that to €25m+€5m and that Bayern’s demand was just €30+€5m.
It looked like an easy gap to bridge.
However, today’s CdS (paper edition, page 15) offers a story that brings all these disparate claims together, after a fashion, and it is a report that will delight United fans.
The outlet claims that “yesterday Inter continued contacts with the Bavarian club, expressing their willingness to raise the amount of bonuses included in the official offer for the Frenchman … to the 25 million euro fixed amount.
“However, the Germans, who had initially set the fee of 35 million all inclusive to let the player go, warned Inter in the evening that they had raised the bar to 40.”
The reason for the sudden price hike? None other than Harry Maguire.
CdS explains that “Manchester United let Bayern know that they have 40 million ready to bring Pavard to the court of Ten Hag.
“On the condition, however, of finding accommodation for Maguire.”
So, Bayern want Inter to match United’s €40 million or they will wait for United to sell the former skipper.
Given that it is generally agreed in these reports that Inter can’t afford that amount, this gives United time to shift Maguire on. The question now, is where to?
With West Ham out of the picture, as CdS say, “it is not obvious that he packs his bags.”
Furthermore, the Italians are hoping that Pavard could agitate for a move to the San Siro, although this seems unlikely given that he has been busy on social media showing great interest in United.
An obvious possible solution to the scenario would be for Maguire to go to Inter. As another former United centre back, Chris Smalling has found, the slower pace of Serie A would absolutely suit a player whose only weakness is a bit of pace. But there is no hint of that being considered as yet.
As things stand, somebody needs to come out of the woodwork and make an offer for Maguire that he simply can’t refuse.