Reports suggest that Tottenham might be in the market for Hull City centre-back Harry Maguire when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.
The Daily Star published the rumor on Tuesday, suggesting also that Tottenham might not be alone in their pursuit.
The 23-year-old Englishman would come into the side as an automatic third choice option for Tottenham behind Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
That would come as a surprise were this rumor to have come up last summer. Centre-back was one of the few areas of the squad where there wasn’t a clear need for additional depth.
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Kevin Wimmer made a brief but notable cameo appearance last season when Vertonghen went down injured. He was widely expected to be the long-term option as the Belgian aged out of the game.
An injury forced the Austrian to the periphery while Eric Dier returned as an option after Victor Wanyama gained hold of defensive midfield. The England international proved a passable alternative, but he is hardly up to the standards of either Alderweireld or Vertonghen.
Mauricio Pochettino might have found new hope in the form of Maguire however. He is rumored to be available for about £15 million in the summer — a fee that might already reflect that Hull are favored for demotion.
Should this rumor prove true, it would lend credence to the idea that Pochettino’s long term goal is for the club to utilize a back three week to week. Maguire is young and already has plenty of experience in the formation under Steve Bruce at Hull.
That tactical switch only gained prominence at Tottenham in December when Pochettino made the switch. What followed were six consecutive Premier League wins — a non-coincidence that wasn’t lost on anyone at the club.
The back-three’s effectiveness became especially clear when it was no longer practical to use it. Vertonghen’s ankle injury in January preceded Danny Rose’s knee issue just weeks later, a pair of injuries that forced Pochettino back into a 4-2-3-1. The team has struggled since.
Acquiring Maguire would then add a capable player — arguably one of Hull’s best despite their poor season — while also allowing Pochettino to play in a back three even with injuries.
Tottenham are rumored to have competition for the player, so this is by no means a done deal. Everton and Southampton are both, if anything, in more dire need of centre-back depth than Tottenham and could drive the price up.