Maguire has fallen from captain of the Red Devils to the club’s fifth-choice center-back, trailing Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Luke Shaw.
And, while injuries to Shaw and Varane may have provided Maguire with a taste of first-team involvement, Erik ten Hag’s stated desperation in obtaining backup at left-back, along with the one-year acquisition of free agent Jonny Evans, imply that even under these conditions, he will be warming the bench.
The Hammers agreed to a £30 million deal with United for the England international, but the deal fell through a couple of weeks ago, with various reports claiming he was holding out for a deal with a Champions League club and expecting a pay-off to compensate for the salary cut he would have to accept to leave Old Trafford.
However, rumors began to surface over the weekend that the contract may be restored, with the London club potentially assisting to offset the wage decrease by paying a signing-on fee.
It was also suggested that it could be a loan transaction.
And now, Romano claims that Maguire has always wanted to go, but the issue may be a lack of time to complete the transaction.
“I’m not aware of Harry Maguire turning down West Ham… “He has always been open to joining [them] this summer, but on his terms; and the player is also very interested in joining David Moyes,” Romano wrote in his Caught offside column this morning.
“For the remainder of the transfer window, Maguire would be open to a loan move from now until Deadline Day, but Erik ten Hag and Man United believe it will be difficult to replace him if he leaves on loan, so it’s still not easy at the moment, and the defender appears to be staying.”
Jean-Clair Todibo of OGC Nice is one player who might replace Maguire if he leaves. Nice are apparently close to signing a replacement, but for that to happen, United would have to sell Maguire rather than loan him out.
A loan appears to offer little benefit to United at this point, but a lot of pieces must fall into place between now and 11 p.m. on Friday if a permanent deal is to be finalized.