£200k-a-week star ‘real leader behind-the-scenes’ at Old Trafford

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is ‘still a really important figure behind the scenes’, journalist Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.

The 29-year-old has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford under manager Erik ten Hag, though, leading to speculation that he could move on to pastures news imminently.

Manchester United news – Harry Maguire

TalkSPORT reporter Anil Kandola recently claimed (via the Daily Star) that Aston Villa were ‘on the verge’ of prising Maguire away from United after struggling for game time.

However, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano soon rubbished the speculation surrounding the England international’s future.

Romano disclosed that reports of a done deal with Aston Villa are ‘now denied by all parties involved’ and that ‘no negotiations’ or talks are ongoing between the two Premier League outfits.

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He also went on to say that Maguire is ‘expected to stay’ at United and that his position at the club is ‘very clear’.

Maguire’s current £200,000-per-week contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2025 and he retained the Red Devils armband upon Ten Hag’s arrival back in July.

What has Jones said about Maguire?

Jones disclosed that it is reasonable to expect Maguire may become available eventually if he fails to regain his place in the starting XI but insisted to GMS that he is still viewed as a key figure by United’s hierarchy at this moment in time.

Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know

He said: “But right now, especially if he’s still a really important figure behind the scenes, as a leader, it obviously goes unseen because we don’t see what he’s giving the team in the dressing room or at the training ground.

“But I’m told that he remains really important in terms of the setup of the squad as a whole, and you have to be careful to manage those situations too.”

How well has Maguire been playing?

Ten Hag brought in Lisandro Martinez from Ajax over the summer, and the Argentina international’s form has significantly reduced Maguire’s playing time.

The 6 foot 4 ace has started just four Premier League games so far this season as a result, but his performances for England at the World Cup showcased his true potential when at the top of his game.

As per WhoScored, Maguire won three aerial duels, made 3.6 clearances, and pulled off 0.6 blocks per game at the showpiece event in Qatar with none of his teammates bettering any of his totals.

Whether Maguire has a long-term future at United under Ten Hag remains to be seen, but it certainly appears as though he will be staying put under at least the end of the season.

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