The shocking news of Chelsea’s interest in Manchester United defender Harry Maguire drew sharp responses from fans of both clubs, with the former enraged and the latter jubilant, at the chance to rid themselves of the 29-year-old English defender who’s lately become the butt of jokes. However, at the time, it became clear the Blues were eyeing Wesley Fofana as the top priority, and Maguire was a backup option. 

He’d be part of a swap deal that would see United get Christian Pulisic, the American forward who’s been clamouring for more game time at the Stamford Bridge side. 

However, trusted football journalist Fabrizio Romano, who often has the inside scoop on transfer news, has said that Fofana remains Thomas Tuchel’s priority, and the chances of the Maguire deal materializing are low.

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Despite Leicester playing hardball in Fofana’s transfer, the player is eager to move and Romano reported Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers confirming, “Wesley Fofana out of the squad – because he wasn’t in right frame of mind to be involved today”. 

Fofana and Chelsea have reportedly reached a six-year deal on personal terms, but the Todd Boehly-owned side have still not submitted an official bid. 

The decision to go with Fofana over Maguire makes sense since the United defender had a disastrous last season, where he even received a bomb threat from a disgruntled fan. Ralf Rangnick, United’s interim manager, had decided to remove Maguire from the first team for some time, but new coach Erik ten Hag decided to go another way and start Maguire. He’s still not managed to make many changes to his game and began with a gaffe in the match against Brighton when Maguire made the entire team stand on the wrong side of the tunnel at Old Trafford. 

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Now, ten Hag is poised to go the same way as the German interim coach, and drop Maguire to play a Lisandro MartinezRaphael Varane combination in the central defence in United’s game against Liverpool.