(Reuters) – Leicester City manager Claude Puel has warned Manchester United that a deadline day transfer for central defender Harry Maguire is impossible, and praised the England international’s attitude amid the speculation over his future.
British media have reported that Jose Mourinho’s United could be set to launch a world record bid for a defender on the back of Maguire’s impressive World Cup campaign in Russia where England reached the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.
The 25-year-old will be in Leicester’s squad for Friday’s Premier League opener at Old Trafford and Puel said joking: “I can confirm he is going to Manchester but only for a couple of hours.
“I am happy to keep Harry. He is our best player. I am a football manager and I want to keep our best players for the squad and for our season.
“Harry is happy to remain with us. And I am happy with his attitude. He came back with (Leicester and England team mate) Jamie (Vardy) with a smile, with freshness.”
Leicester have already lost influential winger Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City in the current transfer window, and Puel wants to keep the rest of his core group of players at the club.
“For us it (a Maguire transfer) is not possible. It is not serious. We have to prepare for this season with good possibilities,” he added.
“We want to keep good ambition. We lost Riyad Mahrez, who was a very valuable player for us, so it was important to keep our best players and have good additions to the squad.”
Earlier on Thursday, young Croatian defender Filip Benkovic became the sixth new arrival at the King Power Stadium after Jonny Evans, Ricardo Pereira, James Maddison, Rachid Ghezzal and Danny Ward.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)