Manchester United have completed the £80m signing of Leicester City defender Harry Maguire to make him the world’s most expensive defender.
The two clubs agreed on the world record fee for the 26-year-old England centre half on Friday, and he spent the weekend completing a medical and agreeing personal terms on a six-year deal.
The deal for Maguire eclipses the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January 2018 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets a huge upgrade in his United defence.
Maguire told his new club’s official website: “I am delighted to have signed for this great club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.
“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”
United had made strengthening the centre of their defence a priority at the start of the summer, with the need only becoming more acute when Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury during their pre-season tour of China which is expected to keep him out for at least four months.
Maguire’s arrival will almost certainly lead to a clear-out at Old Trafford, where there are already six defenders – Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcus Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe – in the senior squad.
The deal more than doubles United’s outlay this summer so far. Aaron Wan-Bissaka cost an initial £45million from Crystal Palace while Daniel James signed from Swansea for £18million.
News of the agreement comes after Maguire was left out of the Leicester squad for their friendly against Serie A club Atalanta at the King Power Stadium on Friday night.
Maguire’s sale represents a tidy profit for the Foxes, who signed Maguire for an initial £12million – potentially rising to £17million with add-ons – from Hull in the summer of 2017.