By 90Min
July 03, 2019

As if their spending power knows no end, both Manchester clubs are locking horns over a deal to sign Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.

United made an eye-watering offer of £70m, a fee which City may very well choose to match, as the price for English talent delves into a world of pure lunacy.

When you take into account that the best centre half in the world - for the sake of argument lets just pretend Virgil van Dijk is the best in the world, although he probably is - cost £75m then it becomes an obscene thought to think Maguire should command more.

He definitely isn't a better defender, yet the country listed on his passport means his price sky rockets to soaring heights and clubs must spend over-the-odds to acquire English players.

So, with that in mind, who else could City and United move for? Here are a few marginally cheaper options from across Europe.


Mario Hermoso - RCD Espanyol


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At only 24-years-old, he's two years younger than Maguire and boasts a CV that reads 'product of Real Madrid academy.'

Furthermore, he's established himself as a fine centre half in La Liga after making 32 appearances last season and notching three goals for the Barcelona-based side. His performances have seen him break into the national team, making his debut for Spain in November and turning out for La Furia Roja plenty of times since then.

A natural left footer, he will offer Premier League sides a different option in central defence but more importantly could be scooped up at a sniff of the price Leicester are demanding for Maguire. A relatively low release clause of €40m may even be negotiated down, considering Hermoso is in the final year of a three-year contract.


Armando Izzo - Torino

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After joining Torino for  €8m in 2018, Armando Izzo has earned himself a strong reputation as one of Serie A's finest defenders after a rip-roaring debut campaign in northern Italy.

His first season at the club saw the 27-year-old rack up 37 starts as Torino narrowly missed out on European football with a seventh-place finish. Nevertheless, their failure to secure Europa League football fell on the forwards' shoulders, as Izzo was part of a defence that conceded a mere 37 goals - only Juventus, Napoli and the Milan clubs boasted better defensive records.

Known for his battling displays and no-nonsense defending, stats-wise Izzo scored highly among the league's defenders, courting the attentions of Arsenal as well as various other European sides. Morever, being available for around €30m, he'd be an absolute steal.


Ibrahima Konate - RB Leipzig

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While we all know individual stats can often be misleading, one glance at the Bundesliga table tells you all you need to know about the strength of RB Leipzig's defence last season.

In their 34 games they shipped in a measly 29 goals, the best in the division, a staggering figure which should be greatly attributed to the fine work of Ibrahima Konate. The 20-year-old Frenchman featured in 29 of those games, slotting into the central role either as part of a back four or alongside two other central defender with consummate ease.

Lightning quick pace is one of his star attributes, while his lean frame allows him to pose a threat in both boxes. His physical strengths are only bettered by his technical ones, attributes that are imperative to the way Leipzig play in the Bundesliga. He signed a new deal committing him to the club until 2023, meaning he won't come cheap, however, it is claimed that a £40m offer could seal the deal.


Samuel Umtiti - Barcelona

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It's a transfer story that's gone back and forth throughout the summer, but if the most recent reports are to be believed, then Barcelona are 'open' to the idea of selling Samuel Umtiti.


He's not just good - he's really good. He possesses all the attributes you would desire from a modern centre half. The ability to carry the ball forward yet willing to do the dirty work, there are very few boxes that the French defender doesn't tick.

Not only that, he has bags of experience to boot. At only 25, he's already won the World Cup and two league titles, not to mention he's played regularly for one of the best sides in the world since moving from Lyon in 2016.

A suggested fee of €50m could sway La Blaurgana to part with the defender, yet again far, far less than what Maguire would command. Morever, in all honesty, who would you rather have in your team?


Nathan Ake - Bournemouth

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While not the headline-grabbing name of a Maguire or Umtiti, Nathan Ake has quietly been going about his business on the south coast undetected.


Or maybe not, as recent gossip suggests City are already keeping tabs on the Bournemouth centre half. Whether their interest is assured or not, the Dutchman has been one of the Cherries' standout players since joining from Chelsea for £20m in 2016 - and poses an experienced option with league experience.

Another player capable of fitting into a back three as well as a back four, Ake has also demonstrated a goalscoring touch, netting four times in the Premier League last season. It speaks volumes of his talent when links are being made to major sides, given the fact that Bournemouth have only finished in the top-ten once since his arrival.

Somewhere in the region of £40m may do the trick, which even still may be a hefty amount, but at 24 he's had four years of top-flight football already. Worth a punt.

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