Leicester City are reportedly preparing themselves for a late Manchester United bid for highly rated England centre-back Harry Maguire by working on deals to sign two new defenders of their own before the imminent Premier League transfer deadline.

United have been eyeing Maguire for several months, with his stellar performances at the World Cup only increasing their interest in the Leicester man.

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The Foxes had previously been rumoured to be holding out for as much as £80m in exchange for his signature, but the latest gossip on the saga is that they could accept less than that after covering themselves by working on deals for two cost effective replacements.

A report from The Times explains that the Foxes are 'on the verge' of signing both Filip Benkovic and Caglar Soyuncu for a total fee of £33.5m to significantly bolster their defensive ranks.

Benkovic, 21, is due to arrive from reigning Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, while 22-year-old Soyuncu, who has been heavily linked with Arsenal in recent months, will join from Freiburg.

The report notes that both players will still sign for Leicester even if £65m-rated Maguire stays at the club, but the overriding sentiment is that their double arrival would make the departure of the former Hull and Sheffield United star much more agreeable if United approach with a bid.

Maguire himself is thought to be keen on a move to Old Trafford after he recently admitted that his personal ambitions extend to a place beyond where Leicester can feasibly take him.

"Every player wants to play at the highest level. I've just come back from playing at a World Cup, where I really enjoyed the high pressure of the games. It was something that I really thrived off," the 25-year-old said last month.

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"Leicester City have been unbelievable to me and I'm really happy there but I'm also an ambitious player and everyone wants to play at the top."