Nigel Clough has warned Wolverhampton Wanderers that Sheffield United will not be bullied into accepting a cut-price fee for Harry Maguire as the battle for the defender’s services intensifies, writes James Shield.
Maguire, who has reportedly informed Bramall Lane’s hierarchy that he does not want to discuss their offer of a new contract until his future is resolved, has been the subject of two bids from Molineux in recent weeks worth £1m and £1.5m.
Reiterating that Andy Butler - the former Walsall captain joined United on a permanent basis last week - is not a ready-made replacement for Maguire, Clough said: “We are not in a position where we want or have to sell. Nothing has altered Harry’s situation.
“I have always maintained that we need more than two centre-halves and he is under contract to us.”
“If something comes in that we deem to be beneficial to us then we’ll discuss it. That’s not happened.”
Sources close to Molineux indicated on Thursday evening that Kenny Jackett, Clough’s counterpart in the Black Country, is poised to force the issue by tabling a £2m bid, possibly containing several performance-related clauses, imminently. Maguire’s present deal is set to expire next summer but the knowledge they would be entitled to significant compensation irrespective of his employment situation has strengthened United’s position.
Wolves, who have also been linked with West Ham’s Jordan Spence, are nevertheless expected to continue their pursuit of a the 21-year-old who has made 166 senior appearances since graduating from the Redtooth Academy.
“Their side (Maguire’s) have said they want to wait and see what happens,” Clough said. “But, as I say, we’re not in a position where we’ll be forced into anything.”