With just days remaining before the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season and the transfer window closing, Jose Mourinho and Manchester United need to act fast if they are to seal their fourth summer signing which appears to be have been on the cards for quite some time.
The Old Trafford club have sought after Tottenham Hotspur centre back, Toby Alderweireld for several months now but only recently have they started to make enquiries about Leicester City and England star, Harry Maguire, who is also a centre back. Both players would be strong additions and either could potentially join Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant as Manchester United's 2018 summer signings.
The rumours that have been speculating and gathering momentum over the past few weeks have been brought on by United's lack of real activity in the transfer window and their ongoing struggles in the centre back department. Phil Jones endured a disappointing season, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly barely played more than two games at a time. Which leaves them with firstly, Chris Smalling who had probably the best campaign out of all of them and Victor Lindelof, who is yet to really find his feet in the Premier League but will no doubt be given more time. It is no secret that Mourinho wants to strengthen in the area, possibly at the expense at one or more of the players mentioned.
Starting with Aldeweireld, the 29-year-old Belgian international joined Spurs in 2015 on a permanent deal after spending the previous season on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid. He has since enjoyed three relatively positive seasons at the North London club and has established himself as the first-choice centre back, despite injury troubles last season. He is a big and tough centre-half who can also read the game very well with very good distribution. Alderweireld was also part of the Belgium team which finished 3rd during the 2018 World Cup and will undoubtedly be a strong addition to Manchester United's squad should he chose to move north and join Mourinho's team.
Their other target is Harry Maguire. The man who only two seasons ago, was relegated with Hull City. Maguire has had a very successful rise in the past two or three years which started off with his move to Hull in 2014 when he was 21 from his boyhood club, Sheffield United. After a couple of loan spells, he established himself in the Tigers' first team during the 2015-16 promotion winning season to the Premier League. The following season was their immediate relegation back to the Championship which prompted bigger clubs to come in for the then, 24-year-old. Leicester City came calling and he subsequently joined the Foxes and played every single Premier League game of the 2017-18 season, helping the East Midlands club to a 9th placed finish.
It didn't end there for Maguire. He was selected to be part of the England squad to compete in the 2018 World Cup and played a huge part in England's tournament, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 quarter-final win against Sweden in July. Agonisingly though, England could only manage finishing in a semi-final place. Nevertheless, Maguire had a fantastic tournament and is tipped to be a regular for the Three Lions for years to come.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="782"] Credit: The Sports Man[/caption]
Both individual players have excellent ability and are both justified to potentially sign for Manchester United but it depends what Mourinho wants. The Portuguese manager has been known for his recruitment of older heads usually around the ages of 28-32, to bring along their experience and have that leadership quality that United desperately need. Will Jose stick with his philosophies of signing the experienced, older head or will he take more of a gamble and go for a younger, up-and-coming centre-half who could yet be a future star?
Do you think United should sign Maguire or Alderweireld? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF!'