Manchester United may have to pay Harry Maguire to complete his trade to West Ham.
West Ham have yet to “agree personal terms” with the centre half, according to Chris Wheeler (Daily Mail), despite other sources indicated that these talks would not be difficult.
Wheeler also claims that United may be forced to pay Maguire a fee in the region of £10 million to ensure his departure from Old Trafford.
This sum is supposed to be tied to Maguire’s high wages (almost £180,000 per week) and the two years left on his contract.
West Ham are said to have agreed a cost of £30 million for the English international, which is a more than reasonable fee for a player who will turn 31 this season and is well down the pecking order in the United side.
Earlier this summer, it was reported that a cost of around £26 million was the benchmark for a good bid for United’s former captain.
Maguire’s £80 million transfer from Leicester is being amortized over his six-year deal, so the centre-half costs the club £13 million per year in Financial Fair Play (FFP). If United sold him this summer for less than £26 million, it would have a negative impact on their balance sheet.
West Ham’s £30 million transfer fee satisfies this financial criterion, with United’s potential £10 million payout – to cover Maguire’s reduced remuneration package at his new club – being a potential FFP loophole.
As a result, the stated sum may not be quite the coup for United that it appeared to be.
Rather, it signals the club’s internal acknowledgment that one of its most expensive players in history, a guy who never acclimated to the pressures of Old Trafford and never seemed to recover from that weird night in Greece, no longer has a place.
David Moyes is said to be desperate to add Maguire to his defensive ranks, even giving him the vacant West Ham skipper as part of the courtship process. Maguire is also fully aware of the implications of his absence from the United team on his England prospects, something he would not face at West Ham.
West Ham want Maguire, and Maguire appears to be developing to want West Ham. A deal appears to be the best option for all parties involved, especially United’s finance department.