Man United star defender threatens to leave the club in January
Harry Maguire has threatened to leave Manchester United in January if he continues in a bit-part role under manager Erik ten Hag.
Maguire, axed as United captain in the summer, was handed his first Premier League start of the season with six other defenders injured, and celebrated by setting up Scott McTominay’s winner against Brentford last Saturday.
However, the 30-year-old faces a return to the sidelines once the likes of Raphael Varane are fit again, harming his chances of being an England starter at Euro 2024 under Gareth Southgate.
‘I am not going to sit here all my life and play once a month. If it carries on I am sure myself and the club will sit down and have a chat about things,’ said Maguire.
Some international duty ahead of England’s double-header against Australia on Thursday and Italy on Tuesday. ‘It’s not my decision whether I start the next game for United or not. In a couple of weeks, I’ll go back and find out.
‘I have belief in my ability and it’s been tough. I want to play games and feel important to the club. ‘At the moment, I haven’t been playing anywhere near as much as I would like. That is the bottom line.’
Maguire came close to joining West Ham this summer but says he is ready to play for United if Ten Hag gives him a proper run. ‘I just have to make sure I am ready to take opportunities when they come along,’ added Maguire.
‘My record under this manager speaks for itself. My win percentage when I’ve played is ridiculously high. ‘If you look back on my last 15 to 20 starts for club and country, I’m really happy with my performances.
‘At the moment I am focused on two big games for England and then on fighting to try and win my place back at Manchester United and help the team climb the league.’
Maguire has seen his career nosedive since Ten Hag took over at Old Trafford in 2021. Facing abuse from fans, Maguire has won praise for the stoic way he has dealt with the situation.
He made only eight league starts last season and was given just two minutes as a late substitute when United won the Carabao Cup to lift their first trophy since 2017.
He got a rare opportunity against Brentford with Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw and Sergio Reguilon out, forcing Victor Lindelof’s move to full back.
Varane and Reguilon should be available for United’s next game at Maguire’s former club Sheffield United a week on Saturday, so the defender will take Ten Hag’s selection as a clue to his future.