Manchester United have completed the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City in an £80 million ($97m) deal that sees the centre-back sign a six-year contract, with the option of a further year, at Old Trafford.
The long-running saga came to an end on Monday as the England international put pen to paper to become part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild at the Theatre of Dreams.
The move sees Maguire surpass Virgil van Dijk to become the most expensive defender of all time, with the Netherlands international having joined Liverpool for £75m in January 2018.
Fans have been calling for defensive reinforcements for some time at United, with many believing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to have been the last two truly reliable centre-halves at the club.
Solskjaer said upon the announcement of Maguire’s arrival: “Harry is one of the best centre-backs in the game today and I am delighted we have secured his signature.
“He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure – coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes – I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch.
”He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club.
“I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season.”
Maguire added: “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.”
A sixth-place finish in the Premier League last term following Solskjaer’s appointment to replace Jose Mourinho in the dugout was considered a hugely disappointing return for a club of United’s stature and Maguire is seen as a ready-made edition to aid in their mission to return to challenging for the English top-flight crown and the Champions League.
Maguire becomes United’s third signing of the summer following the earlier arrivals of Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.