Nigel Clough has urged Harry Maguire to think long and hard before leaving Bramall Lane after warning it could have a detrimental effect on his career, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United centre-half admitted earlier this week it would be “a dream” to play Premier League and European football next season after learning that a £1.75m bid from Hull City had been rejected by the Bramall Lane board.
Maguire has made over 160 appearances for United since progressing through the ranks three years ago and was a near permanent fixture in their starting eleven last term.
Asked what advice he would offer if a member of his own family found themselves in a similar position, Clough said: “I appreciate this might be a selfish opinion but, if it was my son, I’d ask him what he thought was best at this stage. If you leave you might not be involved, week in week out, so are you better off playing?”
“If he was 24 then we’d be saying to him that he’d need to think about getting out,” Clough, the United manager and former England international, added. “But he’s 21 and has got a lot of learning still to do.”
Maguire has been the subject of two failed approaches by City although Steve Bruce, Clough’s counterpart at the KC Stadium, is expected to return with a third offer shortly.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were also interested in acquiring the defender’s services but indicated yesterday they are now pursuing alternative targets.
Clough acknowledged he sympathised with Maguire’s predicament - “Everybody wants to play at the highest level” - but said: “Harry isn’t unhappy here. If we weren’t in League One I don’t think there would be an issue.
“I’ve had a chat with him and said that if the valuation isn’t met then he’ll be staying. He understands that and is fine about it.
“We are under no pressure to sell. The valuation we have set isn’t unreasonable.
“We’d love him to give it another nine months to see if he can make that next step with us.”