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Erik ten Hag acknowledges Harry Maguire’s primary desire to play regular matches for Manchester United, emphasizing his importance in the team’s pursuit of their objectives.

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Last summer, West Ham United made a £30m bid for the 31-year-old defender, indicating their interest in acquiring him. However, the deal fell through before the transfer deadline, as confirmed by Maguire in October when negotiations failed to reach an agreement.

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Initially, Maguire found himself out of the starting lineup at the beginning of the 2023/24 Premier League season under Ten Hag. Yet, due to a combination of poor results and injuries to other United defenders, Maguire reclaimed his position in the team, becoming a consistent presence barring a brief absence due to a groin injury.

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While West Ham’s interest in Maguire persists, Ten Hag underlines the defender’s qualities and his desire to contribute to the team’s success.

“You have to understand his perspective,” Ten Hag stated in a recent press conference. “We’ve always valued Harry Maguire, but he’s eager to be on the pitch. He’s not just a fantastic leader and defender; he’s also comfortable with the ball. Considering our current defensive challenges, his role in leading the line and initiating plays from the back is crucial. We’re delighted to have him, and his presence is instrumental in achieving our objectives.”

The constant reshuffling of the defensive line due to injuries has underscored Maguire’s importance in the team. With ongoing uncertainties surrounding Raphael Varane’s future and potential departures, Maguire’s contract status remains secure until 2025, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

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