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What to make of the Harry Maguire to Chelsea rumors?

Much ado about (probably) nothing

Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Extra extra, read all about it! Chelsea have been linked, rather boisterously even by rumor mill standards, to Harry Maguire! The biggest laughing stock of the dumpster fire that is Manchester United at the moment, right? He who holds back England from ultimate greatness, no? What on Earth is going on here, you might be wondering. Why would we do such a silly thing?

The obvious thing to note is that beyond the loud headlines, there isn’t much substance to the story. The Daily Mail, who broke this news, may have shouted into their megaphone that Chelsea “eye a SHOCK swoop”, but as it often happens, once you get into the actual text, things get a little less confident. And by a little, I mean a lot: Chelsea “made [...] an enquiry” and “raised the possibility” of a deal, maybe involving Christian Pulisic (which idea had been pretty much debunked already), possibly in response to United doing the same for him.

Follow-up stories, such as from the Guardian, put this firmly into speculative territory, adding that Chelsea’s priority remains Wesley Fofana (who did in fact sit out Leicester’s home defeat against Southampton today) and that Maguire isn’t for sale anyway (even if he might get dropped for Sunday’s big rivalry showdown against Liverpool). The 29-year-old, who still holds the world transfer record for a defender (the one that we’re trying to avoid having to break with Fofana) has three years left on his contract, so there’s no pressure in that regard either.

So, just like with the Cristiano Ronaldo rumors, this is clearly not happening (as far as we can ever be certain of anything in the transfer window), though it again further underlines the idea that Todd Boehly is willing to at least consider just about any possibility in the market, and is willing to explore just about every deal, building business relationships throughout the league and Europe at breakneck pace. That’s probably a good thing, and something that should help us in the future, even if it might lead to an overabundance of silly rumors, just like in the heyday of Roman Abramovich’s unchecked spending.

Having said all that, if there is any coach who could revive Maguire’s career and reputation, it’s Thomas Tuchel, whose three-man defensive setup seems an ideal fit for the type of ball-playing center half that Maguire is (or once was). The logistics and the finances make this idea nigh impossible at the moment — should’ve signed him straight out of Hull City! — but this is far from the silliest rumor (in terms of its footballing aspect) that we’ve seen this summer, so at least it’s got that going for it, which is nice.

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