Erik ten Hag has told Harry Maguire to leave Manchester United if he is not willing to fight for his place in the starting lineup.
Maguire fell out of favour under Ten Hag during his first season in charge, making just eight Premier League starts under the new manager. Last month, the defender was stripped of the club captaincy, with the armband being given to Bruno Fernandes ahead of the new campaign.
All of this has notably led to a huge amount of speculation around the player’s long-term future at Old Trafford, and with West Ham having seen a bid of £30m now accepted by the Red Devils it looks as though Maguire is set to leave the club. 90min understands that although Maguire hasn’t been fully convinced of leaving Man Utd this summer, he is open to a move to West Ham and is likely to accept their contract offer.
Speaking about defender’s Man Utd future and seemingly impending transfer to the Hammers, Ten Hag told the press ahead of the club’s Premier League season-opener against Wolves that, if Maguire isn’t willing to fight for his place in the team, then he should leave.
“For Harry, he has to fight for his place. He has the ability to be a top-class centre-back, he is the best for England so why shouldn’t he be the best for us?” Ten Hag said.
“But he has to prove it. When he is not confident enough to go with that fight then he has to go, he has to make the decision. But I am happy with him.
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“We don’t have a squad with 11 players. Last year proved definitely we need all the players, so you need high level players who are maybe not starting but that can change, so there is an internal competition and everyone has to fight for his place. For many players that counts, when they are good they will get their games but no one can play all the games and finally, you find out what is the best team.
“In the squad now, all the positions are double and every player has the perspective to fight for his place. Then you have to show with your contribution it’s the best team performance. It is up to the players if they have the game time or less.”
In light of Maguire’s potential departure, 90min recently reported that Man Utd are set to enter the transfer market in search of some centre-back cover. Names that have been linked already include Jean Clair-Todibo, Perr Schuurs, Jarrad Branthwaite and Edmond Tapsoba.
Man Utd are also in talks with Bayern Munich regarding versatile France defender Benjamin Pavard.
LISTEN TO 90MIN’S MAN UTD PODCAST: THE PROMISED LAND
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette talk about Jean-Clair Todibo potentially replacing Harry Maguire, as well as views on Scott McTominay, Fred, Dean Henderson and Donny van de Beek.
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