Manchester United are looking at the possibility of offering Harry Maguire to Chelsea as part of their deal to sign Mason Mount, according to reports.
United are ramping up their interest in the England star and are said to have agreed personal terms, with Chelsea finally accepting they need to cash in on him given that his contract expires next year.
But Chelsea are asking for a fee in the region of £70m – even though Mount only has a year on his contract – and that has prompted the Red Devils to get creative.
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With the two teams a long way apart in their valuations, The Sun reports that United could use Maguire as a makeweight.
The 30-year-old centre-back has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford since Erik ten Hag took over, making just eight starts in the Premier League.
United are keen to offload the defender that they are even willing to subsidise his wages at a cost of as high as £10m to get him off their books.
Maguire – who cost £80m when he moved to Old Trafford from Leicester four years ago – is still valued at around £30m by the club despite his poor form.
United could now try to put forward a player-plus-cash deal for Mount worth around £40m up front in addition to the defender in part-exchange.
However, It remains to be seen if Chelsea would accept such deal but the club are looking to improve their defence – though they have two left-sided centre-backs; Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill.
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino is a huge fan of Maguire and tried to sign him when he was at Hull City, though Spurs chairman Daniel Levy vetoed the deal and he moved to Leicester instead.