England manager Gareth Southgate is reportedly planning for life without Manchester United star Harry Maguire.
Southgate has been a staunch supporter of the embattled United defender throughout his struggles at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag’s arrival at the club saw Maguire’s playing time greatly curtailed. So far this season, the Dutchman has demonstrated the same preference for a centre-back partnership of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
Even Victor Lindelof has achieved more minutes than the former Red Devils skipper who got his first taste of action in the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.
Southgate previously warned Maguire that his lack of playing time at United could damage his standing in the England camp, with the likes of Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori knocking on the door for more prominent roles.
According to The Daily Mail, Southgate is now finally open to replacing Maguire ahead of the 2024 Euros amidst his struggles at club level.
“Marc Guehi is emerging as a genuine rival to Harry Maguire in the race for a starting role at next summer’s European Championships.
“With Maguire’s international future under increasing doubt due to his lack of game time at Manchester United, it is not lost on Southgate and his staff that they need to have a plan B at centre-back.
“Southgate has been impressed with Guehi and is planning to play the Eagles defender next to Stones in next month’s international break – when England face Australia and Italy – as he makes contingency plans should Maguire not be selected.”
Guehi was handed a second consecutive start for the Three Lions during their recent 3-1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.
The Crystal Palace man was taken off at half-time after sustaining an injury. Maguire was brought on in his place. It was the 30-year-old’s own goal that gave Scotland some respite.
Southgate launched a passionate defence of Maguire after the game and fired back at pundits and the media for their over-zealous criticism of the player.
As per The Mail, Maguire’s chances of starting alongside Stones during the Euros can improve if his situation at United changes between now and the summer.