Boost for Man Utd in Maguire chase as Guardiola plays down City's chances of signing a centre-back

The Spanish boss does not expect any extra defensive arrivals during the current transfer window, which leaves the Red Devils free to chase Maguire

Manchester United have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Leicester’s Harry Maguire, with Pep Guardiola playing down Manchester City’s chances of signing another centre back.

City have been relatively quiet in the transfer window so far, with the signing of defensive midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid their only major acquisition.

However, there has been some suggestion that Guardiola will look to bring in defensive reinforcements following Vincent Kompany’s departure to Anderlecht at the end of last season.

City have been linked with Foxes talisman Maguire, but it seems Manchester United now lead the race for the England international.

The Red Devils saw a £70 million bid rejected by Leicester at the start of July, but they are expected to return with an improved offer in the region of £80 million ($100m) before the end of the summer window on August 8.

Guardiola has conceded central defence was an area he was considering strengthening, but he is happy with the options he already has at his disposal should a move fail to materialise.

Speaking ahead of the Asia Trophy clash with Wolves, the City boss said: “We are so happy with the squad we have. I don’t know if the players here will stay or if new players will come, but I am delighted with the players we have.

“There’s a chance [of a defender coming in] but I don’t know if it will be possible. We [already] have three incredible central defenders and Fernandinho can play in that position.”

Speculation regarding Leroy Sane’s future at the Etihad Stadium has also been a hot topic of discussion in recent weeks, with Bayern Munich mooted as his most likely next destination.

The German champions are on the lookout for wide players to fill the sizeable void left by Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, with Sane top of their wishlist.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and coach Niko Kovac have been vocal in their admiration of the 23-year-old, with the former even suggesting Bayern are “ready” to make a move should the player express a wish to leave the north-west of England.

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However, Guardiola has hinted at his dissatisfaction with his former club’s public pursuit, and outlined his desire to keep Sane in the Premier League.

He told reporters in Shanghai: “For a long time they talk about their interest, but Leroy is our player and hopefully he can stay next season and next season and next season.”

Pushed on if he had spoken to anyone at Bayern, Guardiola replied: “No.”

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