Leicester City have rejected offers of around £70m from Manchester United and Manchester City for defender Harry Maguire, but are ready to sell for bids in the region of £85m to £90m this summer should they arrive.
Maguire has been the subject of interest from United for more than a year, but City have joined the hunt recently knowing that club skipper Vincent Kompany would call time on his 11-year spell at the Etihad. Kompany has joined boyhood club Anderlecht as player-manager, leaving a spot to fill in central defence - with City contemplating how they fill it.
Fernandinho has been tipped to drop into the position more regularly next season, while they may promote youngster Eric Garcia to a more prominent role in the first team squad. They're also in the market for a new defender for the right price, with Maguire the latest target.
Leicester are under no pressure to sell, 90min understands, and are perfectly content to sit on any deal until an acceptable offer is made. Their initial demand to the Manchester clubs went as high as £120m, and while it's obviously unrealistic and one that's unlikely to be met, it's a display of the Foxes' position of power in negotiations. They do not need to sell.
The club are aiming to get as close to the £100m mark as they can in any potential sale, but their position in negotiations will likely mean it's United who are the ones that chase hardest.
20th cap against Switzerland Proud every time I wear the shirt gbeng❤️ pic.twitter.com/vtKLISR4QO— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) June 10, 2019
City have proven in the market over the years that they are perfectly prepared to go no higher than a certain mark when signing any player, whether that's in transfer fee, wage offering or otherwise. Their withdrawal in Alexis Sanchez negotiations in January 2018, which allowed United to sign the Chilean, is an indicator.
United are in the market for players in a number of positions, and centre half is one of their biggest priorities. Maguire is one of a number of players who has been on their radar - the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Matthijs de Ligt have been touted among the other names - while Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka has emerged in recent days as their target at right back.
The saga could continue throughout the summer. Leicester are confident that they will eventually strike a deal close to their asking price and the player, Maguire himself, is unlikely to actively push the club to finalise a deal. That's even while Leicester are aware the 26-year-old is ready to join a bigger club.
Manchester City also hold interest in Ben Chilwell and could explore the possibility of a double deal for the England pair, though their recent new contract offer to Oleksandr Zinchenko may be an indicator that they're prepared to enter the new season with their current options.