Erik ten Hag Urges Maguire to “fight for position” as Pavard Pursuit Stalls

Manchester United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, faces a significant challenge this summer. After a substantial £216 million investment last year, phase two of the club’s rebuild has commenced.

However, financial constraints are limiting their ability to make additional signings, thanks in part to the unexpected reluctance of Harry Maguire to leave the club.

Benjamin Pavard: Unattainable Due to Maguire

The ongoing Maguire situation has thwarted United’s interest in Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard. While Pavard’s versatility makes him an appealing target, United’s inability to offload Maguire restricts their options. Arsenal and Inter Milan are now vying for Pavard’s signature, with Inter already making a €25 million bid.

Publicly, Erik ten Hag encourages Maguire to regain his peak form and resurrect his United career. Privately, however, he reportedly deems Maguire below par and expected the removal of the captaincy to prompt an exit. The impasse in Maguire’s departure has now put United’s pursuit of Benjamin Pavard on hold.

Ten Hag recently stated,

“He knows what I expect from a centre half….. He has the abilities to do it, so he has to show it. It’s about character, to be convinced to play that role. He has all the abilities and it’s up to him when the time is there.”

Ambitious Rebuild Underway for United

Last year’s investments paid off, as Manchester United saw notable improvements on the field. This season, optimism is building as the club welcomes Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, and Andre Onana to strengthen their squad.

However, these signings have stretched the club’s budget, leaving them with limited financial flexibility. To bring in new players, they must sell existing ones. This policy effectively places Manchester United under a “one-in, one-out” strategy.

Several players have left, including David de Gea, Fred, Alex Telles, and Anthony Elanga, bringing in some funds. Still, they struggle to find suitors for Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, and Dean Henderson. Most crucially, the failure to offload Harry Maguire has significantly hindered their transfer plans.

A Lingering Presence

Despite falling out of favor under Ten Hag, Maguire’s high wage demands and lack of suitable suitors have stalled negotiations. United lowered their valuation from £50 million to £30 million, but talks with West Ham have broken down.

Adding to the complexity, Maguire is not in the squad for Manchester United’s upcoming match against Tottenham Hotspur due to a minor injury. Although he was not expected to start, his absence further highlights the uncertainty surrounding his future.

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