Steve Walsh believes Harry Maguire would be a “massive acquisition” for Manchester United but insisted his former club Leicester do not have to sell the England defender.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to be interested in the 26-year-old centre-back, who has also played 20 times for the national team.
Maguire joined Leicester in 2017 from Hull for £12million and has been linked with Manchester United since the 2018 summer transfer window, most recently for a fee of around £90million.
When asked whether Maguire would be worth the record-breaking amount, Walsh, who played 369 times for Leicester, said: “I think when you look at the centre-backs of his calibre, there’s not many of them around.
“I would say that he’s England’s number one choice centre-back at the moment.”
He added: “They (Leicester) don’t need to sell, he’s an important player.
“I sincerely hope that Harry plays this season because if we want to be contesting against the best teams then he’s a player for the future and we need to keep him.”
In the 2018/19 season, United conceded more goals than the rest of the top six in the Premier League with 54 and six more than Leicester.
Walsh thinks Maguire could be an important signing for United and be a key figure in their defence.
He said: “For Man United obviously he’d not be the final piece in the jigsaw but he’d be a massive acquisition for them.
“Man United have always had a dominant big centre-back and a captain really and I guess you could see him fitting in well.
“When everyone says £80million is a lot of money it’s not really in a market when you’ve got a player of his calibre, because he’s a sought-after player and it’s his style of play and you don’t get many big lads like him in the modern game.”
Maguire has been central to the Leicester team and has only missed seven Premier League matches since his move from Hull, and for Walsh, finding a replacement would be difficult.
“We have four or five centre-backs, so we’re pretty covered, but obviously losing Maguire it’s hard to replace.
“You’re not going to get a player as good as him so it’s going to be a bit of a test for Brendan (Rodgers) in what he does, whether he enters the market and there is a lot of talk about (Lewis) Dunk but it’s hearsay at this moment and we will see.”
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