Jose Mourinho targets £35m-rated defender as Chris Smalling replacement

Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho is reportedly considering a summer approach for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. The Portuguese tactician is said to be impressed with the progress of the 25-year-old, and he is being eyed as a probable replacement for Chris Smalling in the starting lineup.

According to The Mirror, Smalling could find himself dropping down the pecking order at Old Trafford with Maguire being identified as a probable option to bolster the heart of the defence.

Maguire has seemingly been picked ahead of his compatriot in the England national side, and the centre-back’s progress may see him make the switch to United to take Smalling’s position alongside Eric Bailly.

Smalling did not start the season as the preferred choice for the central defensive duties, but as the season has progressed, the Englishman has managed to capitalise on his chances.

The likes of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Bailly have missed certain periods of the campaign through long-term injuries, and this has enabled Smalling to keep his position amid the criticism.

Smalling has of late contributed a couple of valuable goals including the winner in the 3-2 comeback triumph over Manchester City in the derby, but he has still had flaws with his positioning with the main role at the back.

As per The Mirror, Mourinho is said to be a huge admirer of Maguire’s talents, and he is understood to be in a three-man shortlist alongside Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos.

However, the former Sheffield United graduate appears the most practical of United’s targets for the summer as he could be available for a fee of around £35m unlike the rest, who may cost in upwards of £50m.

Image – Getty

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