MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 28, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Report: Everton now lead the chase for ‘dominant’ Premier League defender Harry Maguire

Everton are now reportedly leading the chase for Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire, who looks set to depart Old Trafford this summer.

The ‘dominant’ defender has been heavily linked with Spurs and West Ham United, but the Toffees have now leapfrogged both London clubs.

That is according to Football Insider, who report that Erik ten Hag prefers the options of Rafael Varane and Lisandro Martinez at the back, leaving little room for Maguire.

Given that the England international, who was recently stripped of the club captaincy at Old Trafford, earns a wage of £190,000-per week, United are keen to offload the 30-year-old.

Indeed, Maguire has two years remaining on his current deal and could available for a fee of around £35m, with David Moyes’ West Ham side already having had a bid of around £20m turned down.

However, the player reportedly wants his £10m-a-year contract paid up in full before he leaves Old Trafford, which could further complicate any potential deal.

Harry Maguire would be a great fit at Everton despite player reputation

With Yerry Mina leaving as a free agent and the Blues deciding against making Conor Coady’s loan deal permanent, Everton suddenly find themselves short on both quality and personnel at the back.

The future of Jarrad Branthwaite remains up in the air, with Manchester United reportedly a potential destination for the young defender.

Everton’s desperate requirement to recruit upfront this summer has likely allowed the need for a new centre-back to slip under the radar, but a defender is a must before the end of the window.

Maguire started just 16 games for Manchester United last season and could potentially be a decent signing for Sean Dyche, forming an experienced partnership with James Tarkowski.

However, whether or not the Blues can actually afford the reported £35m fee remains unseen, and the 30-year-old would have to take a significant pay cut before we could even entertain a transfer.

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