Hull City are ready to knock Wolverhampton Wanderers out of the race to sign Harry Maguire as the battle for the Sheffield United defender intensifies, writes James Shield.
Kenny Jackett, the Wolves manager, had been ready to pay around £2m to try and secure Maguire’s services next season after failing with a bid worth £1.5m earlier this month.
But City, who as The Star revealed yesterday are also monitoring the former England under-21 international, were last night preparing to make an approach which would improve upon that offer.
Steve Bruce, whose side beat United in the FA Cup semi-finals nearly nine weeks ago, first identified Maguire as a possible target after dispatching scouts to watch him in action earlier this year.
Although Joleon Lescott remains City’s number one choice - talks aimed at extending Curtis Davies’ contract are scheduled to take place shortly - Bruce counts Bramall Lane’s reigning player of the year among the lower division’s most exciting young prospects.
Significantly, acquiring Maguire would also help City meet their Premier League quota of ‘home-grown’ talent as well as help cope with the demands of both domestic and European competition.
While officials at the KC Stadium have yet to officially enquire about Maguire’s availability, the matter has recently been discussed at boardroom level.