Man Utd may have to give Harry Maguire second chance due to UEFA involvement

Harry Maguire’s contract expires next summer. (Image: Getty)

Harry Maguire could be handed a lifeline at Old Trafford because of an unusual UEFA rule that has stunted the Red Devil’s transfer plans.

Maguire has endured a stop-start spell since joining United from Leicester City for £80million five summers ago.

The much-maligned defender was linked with a move away from Old Trafford last summer, with West Ham United rumoured to have been interested.

However, a move to the London Stadium failed to materialise and Maguire stuck around at Old Trafford for the 2023/24 campaign.

The ex-Leicester man registered 31 appearances across all competitions, but a muscle injury at the backend of the season meant his campaign ended prematurely.

Talk of a move away from the Red Devils hasn’t disappeared though, not least because Maguire is due to enter the last year of his contract.

It’s mooted the three-time European champions do boast an option to extend Maguire’s deal for a further year, but that hasn’t stopped United from exploring the centre-back market.

One name said to have been high up on their shortlist of potential defensive candidates was Jean-Clair Todibo.

Man United were reportedly keen on Jean-Clair Todibo. (Image: Getty)

The 24-year-old – who spent two years with Barcelona – has impressed since joining Ligue 1 outfit Nice in 2021.

Todibo was being tipped to make the switch from Nice to United this summer, but plans to complete the transfer have been put on hold because of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s involvement with the French side.

UEFA rules state any clubs who share the same owner – majority or minority – cannot transfer players between them, if they are playing in the same European competition.

Ratcliffe’s INEOS group – who confirmed a minority takeover in United earlier this year – own Nice in their entirety.

And given both Nice and United have qualified for next season’s Europa League, a move for Todibo is all but ruled out.

While United will likely continue their search for new defensive reinforcements – namely Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite – it could prove beneficial for Maguire.

Despite occasional criticism being levelled at his performances, Maguire has proved his worth under Ten Hag when given the chance.

A trusty and dependable centre-half, with over 240 Premier League appearances to his name, United could still squeeze out another year or two from the 31-year-old.

Plus, as he’s approaching the latter end of his career, it’s unlikely Maguire will be too hasty with his demands, meaning he could still prove a useful asset for Ten Hag and co.