West Ham United has reached an agreement in principle with Manchester United for the transfer of Harry Maguire, in a deal valued at £30 million. While the move appears imminent, the remaining hurdle is the finalization of personal terms. However, reports suggest that these negotiations are unlikely to encounter any major issues.
Maguire’s anticipated departure could leave Erik ten Hag’s defense somewhat depleted. Raphael Varane’s susceptibility to injuries and Victor Lindelof’s inconsistency in pivotal matches, particularly when Varane is absent, present concerns. Further complicating matters is the fact that both Luke Shaw, who can adapt to a centre-back role, and Lisandro Martinez, are left-footed, making them unsuitable options for the right side of the central defense.
To address this potential void, United has identified four center-backs as prime candidates to replace Maguire: Benjamin Pavard, Jean Clair Todibo, Edmond Tapsoba and Marc Guehi. Latest reports indicate a particular interest from Ten Hag in Pavard, given his versatility on the field.
While all four defenders possess commendable attributes, the final decision will be multifaceted. Factors such as transfer and agent fees, age, experience, wage demands, and the players’ injury histories will play a significant role in determining who ultimately dons the Manchester United jersey.