LONDON • Harry Maguire has revealed he simply could not turn down Manchester United when they "come knocking".
The Red Devils yesterday confirmed they had secured the England international on a six-year contract, and while financial details of the deal were not disclosed, British media reported the transfer fee was around £80 million (S$134.3 million), making him the world's most expensive defender.
The 26-year-old Maguire becomes United's second-most expensive recruit after France midfielder Paul Pogba, who was signed for a then world-record £89 million from Juventus in 2016.
But despite eclipsing the £75 million fee that Liverpool paid Southampton to land Netherlands captain and reigning Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it is money well spent.
Calling Maguire "one of the best centre backs in the game today", the Norwegian said: "He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure - coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes.
"I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch... he has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club."
Maguire, who helped England to fourth place at last year's World Cup in Russia, could not hide his delight at moving to Old Trafford.
CUPS ON THE AGENDA
It's clear to see that Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) is building a team to win trophies.
HARRY MAGUIRE, on joining Manchester United for a record fee for a defender.
He said: "I am delighted to have signed for this great club. It is an incredible opportunity. From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team.
"It's clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I'm now looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting the season started."
Maguire is United's third summer signing following Wales winger Daniel James and England Under-21 defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and, with the transfer window closing on Thursday, he is unlikely to be the last through the door.
According to the Daily Mail, Solskjaer is closing in on Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic, whom Juventus are using as a makeweight in a cash-and-player deal that will see Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku move to Turin.
Argentina forward Paulo Dybala had originally been proposed as a straight swop for Lukaku, but the BBC said that move had collapsed over the weekend owing to his wage demands.