Maguire is set to join Moyes at West Ham after the two clubs agreed on a £30 million transfer deal. After being stripped of the captaincy by Erik ten Hag, the 30-year-old has opted to quit his four-year stay at Old Trafford.
He will be one of Moyes’ big signings this summer, joining Ajax’s Edson Alvarez and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse in filling the vacuum left by Declan Rice in midfield. Maguire’s move to east London indicates that Moyes has changed his mind about the England defender since 2013, when he had the opportunity to recruit him during his 10-month tenure as manager of United.
“We didn’t try to sign him [when he was at United], but we flagged him up,” Moyes said on talkSPORT in August 2019. “I was very aware of the players in the lower leagues and had a successful career bringing them to Everton, whether it was Tim Cahill or any of the others we did over the years.”
“Another name I recognized was Harry Maguire. He played against Preston North End at home in a league game, and I thought he performed really well, but he was really large at the time – he had a massive a***.
“You wondered,’my goodness, how big is Harry going to be?’ because he was a young boy at the time.” To be fair, he appears to be in great form and hasn’t changed much.
“When I first arrived at United, we had [Nemanja] Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Michael Keane, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling.” So going out and buying another young centre-half wasn’t the most pressing requirement at the time.
“And Harry Maguire had to embark on his journey.” Sometimes the travel is necessary for the players to get to where they need to go. He could have battled back then.”
Maguire eventually joined United from Leicester City in an £80 million deal in July 2019. Over the last four years, he has made 175 appearances for United but has fallen out of favor under Ten Hag’s management.
The Dutchman has made Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez his first-choice central defensive pairing, with Maguire on the bench. Maguire had wanted to stay and battle for his place, but a transfer to West Ham will give him the regular game time he needs to keep his place in England’s squad.
United are investigating a deal for Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo as a replacement for Maguire, while Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Taspoba and Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard are also being tracked, with Turkish and Saudi Arabian clubs interested in Eric Bailly.