Harry Maguire finds himself out-of-favour at Manchester United and has been strongly linked with a move to Premier League rivals Aston Villa in the January transfer window – but Fabrizio Romano has poured cold water over those claims.
Maguire has fallen behind Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the pecking order at centre-back and Erik ten Hag has limited his appearances in all competitions this season.
He even seems to be behind Luke Shaw, who partnered Varane in the middle of defence against Everton in the FA Cup on Friday night despite usually playing at left-back.
United legend Paul Parker has criticised Maguire and suggested he’s not got the right mentality to play at the highest level of English football.
“I’m not sure that he will find a new club in January,” Parker said. “It will be very tough for a sporting director to convince the fans that he is a good signing at any club.
“Maybe he could go out on loan but then it will be a small team from the bottom of the league.
“He can’t play for a top side like Man City, Liverpool or Newcastle because they are defending with a high line. He needs to play for a team that defends with a low block because he is too nervous and too slow to play for a big club.
“But I think he is quite happy at Man United and most likely he will settle and enjoy his time on the bench because he knows that any other club would be a step down from Man United.”
Rumours of an imminent move to mid-table Aston Villa circulated on Sunday night after Maguire was spotted in a Birmingham restaurant over the weekend.
But, on his YouTube channel, Romano denied that Maguire was about to leave Old Trafford.
“What I’ve been told in the last few minutes is, at the moment, that Manchester United have not agreed with any club for Harry Maguire.
“Also, on the player’s side, they are denying any agreement so let’s see it will unfold in the next few days.
“But, at the moment, I don’t have any confirmation on the story and the current expectation is for Maguire to work towards being an important player for Ten Hag.
“This is the feeling around Maguire right now.”