Sheffield United will continue to play hardball with Hull City and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the battle for Harry Maguire enters a critical phase, writes James Shield.
Maguire, who has been the subject of bids worth a reported £1m and £1.5m during the close season, informed Bramall Lane’s hierarchy earlier this month that he wanted to postpone talks over a new contract until his long-term future is resolved.
Although some observers have interpreted the stance adopted by the defender and his representatives as an indication they want to explore the possibility of leaving Bramall Lane, manager Nigel Clough warned yesterday that United are determined not to be bullied into accepting a fee which does not meet their valuation of a player who has also represented England at under-21 level.
The Star understands the League One club’s hierarchy are prepared to let Maguire enter the final year of his present agreement unless their demands are met after clarifying the amount of compensation they are likely to receive should he eventually depart as a ‘free agent.’
Legislation governing the transfer of footballers aged under 24 - Maguire is 21 - means, should that situation arise, the centre-half’s employers would have to make a contribution towards his development.
Maguire made his senior debut for United against Cardiff City in 2011.