Are Manchester City out of the running to sign Harry Maguire after his United admission?

Harry Maguire in action for Leicester 3:09
The Transfer Show panel discuss the future of Leicester defender Harry Maguire

With the Sky Sports News revelation that Harry Maguire would be honoured to play for Manchester United, we analyse if that means Manchester City are no longer in the running for the England defender.

Last month, both Manchester clubs indicated that they would be willing to pay £65m for the Leicester centre-back, with United subsequently increasing that offer to £70m, which City would be ready to match.

Leicester, however, have made it clear they are not interested in selling at that price and are demanding a world-record fee for a defender if the 26-year-old is to leave the King Power stadium.

harry maguire transfer target slate 2:05
Take a look at why Leicester’s Harry Maguire finds himself at the centre of a tug of war between rivals Manchester City and Manchester United

It is understood that Maguire has told Brendan Rodgers and his Leicester teammates he wants to leave during this transfer window, and Sky Sports News exclusively revealed on Thursday that Maguire would be honoured to play for the Old Trafford side.

However, is this the clearest indication yet that City are unwilling to go beyond the £70m offered?

City have made it clear from the start that they would not get into a bidding war with their neighbours.

Harry Maguire was a second-half substitute for Leicester at Scunthorpe
Image: Harry Maguire was a second-half substitute for Leicester at Scunthorpe

And it is understood Maguire would be keen to follow in the footsteps of his heroes Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand by playing at the heart of United's defence.

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Would Maguire say he would be honoured to play for United if City were still legitimate contenders for his signature?

City still have numerous options in central defence and some young talent coming through.

Harry Maguire in action for Leicester 3:02
The Transfer Talk panel analyse the latest developments in Manchester United's chase for Leicester defender Harry Maguire

Pep Guardiola has admitted he is not sure whether City will sign a replacement for departed captain Vincent Kompany this summer.

He said: "There is a chance but I don't know if it will be possible. We have three good central defenders, Fernandinho can play in that position, so we will see.

"We are so happy in the squad that we have. I don't know what's going to happen in the end of the market; if the players still here are going to stay or if players are going to come. I'm delighted with the players we have."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was in relaxed mood ahead of the start of the club's pre-season with the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Image: Pep Guardiola is not sure whether City will sign a replacement for Vincent Kompany

While Leicester say £70m is not enough, they may have to be careful that they do not end up without any agreement and with a very unhappy Maguire on their hands.

With United potentially now the only show in town - there has been no interest from other Premier League sides apart from Arsenal's £40m bid, or from abroad - the big question now is whether the £10m chasm between United's offer and Leicester's supposed asking price can be bridged?

Why Man City need homegrown talent

Manchester City are under increasing pressure to add at least one English player to their squad this summer, or they face the prospect of going into the Premier League season with an even smaller squad.

Under Premier League rules, every club must reserve eight spaces in their 25-man squad for 'homegrown' players over the age of 21. Last season, City only had four - Kyle Walker, John Stones, Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling - which meant Pep Guardiola could only register a squad of 21 players.

preview image 2:08
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers confirms interest in Harry Maguire but admits the club's valuation of the player is yet to be met

The departure of Delph means City's Premier League squad has effectively been cut down to a maximum of 20 players for next season and adding to their homegrown contingent is the only way Guardiola can have more experienced first-team players to choose from.

Why Manchester clubs were keen on Maguire

Sky Sports' Gary Neville feels Maguire has all the qualities needed to be a modern centre-back, and places him on the same level as other defenders in terms of confidence in playing out from the back.

Maguire's dribbling success rate is the second highest among any defender in the Premier League, while his aerial duel success rate is also the highest among any defender in the division.

A strength Maguire would bring to both sides is his physicality. His duel success of 73 per cent is the second highest in the Premier League - only behind Virgil van Dijk - and would be a welcome improvement for both teams.

Follow the Summer Transfer Window on Sky Sports

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