Erik ten Hag sends message to West Ham over Harry Maguire interest | Football

Harry Maguire could be heading to West Ham this summer (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag has confessed that Manchester United star Harry Maguire ‘wants to play’ more regularly amid reported transfer interest from West Ham.

The Hammers are set to launch a fresh approach for Maguire at the end of the season as he enters the final year of his current contract at Old Trafford.

Maguire was strongly linked to West Ham last summer but a £30m move to the London Stadium fell through after the east London club had a bid accepted.

He does not appear to be in Ten Hag’s long-term plans after the Dutchman stripped him of the captaincy and has been repeatedly urged to find a new club.

Maguire has been a regular starter for United recently due to a defensive injury crisis but it is still thought he may be offloaded under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s rebuild.

Ten Hag was quizzed about West Ham’s interest in the England international in Friday’s press conference and said: ‘You have to see it in perspective.

‘We were always happy with Harry Maguire – but he wants to play. He’s a great leader, he’s a very good defender, very comfortable on the ball.

Erik ten Hag pictured at the Brentford FC v Manchester United Premier League game

Erik ten Hag insists he is ‘very pleased’ with Harry Maguire (Picture: Getty)

‘When I count all of those abilities, just now when we are on our defending line we have our problems, he is even more important to lead that line, to make us play from the back.

‘So we are very pleased he is there and we need him to get our results and achieve our targets.’

United travel to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, looking for revenge after the Cherries humiliated Ten Hag’s side 3-0 at Old Trafford back in December.

Will Cherries cause Man Utd more problems?

Bruno Fernandes apologised to Man Utd fans after they lost 3-0 at home to AFC Bournemouth in December.

‘The performance we did today was not acceptable,’ The United captain said. ‘Everyone agrees in the dressing room that our performance was not at our level and we have to perform much better.

‘We underperformed quality-wise and effort-wise. Against a team like Bournemouth, really tough to play against, they go really strong, they press with good intentions, it’s tough if you don’t do your job, you’re not going to win the game.’

‘It was after a very good performance against Chelsea in the week,’ Ten Hag added. ‘We were mentally not ready for that game.

‘They battled us and we lost the battles. Tomorrow will not be different, that is the way they want to play.

‘They want to fight with you. So you go into that fight, have the conviction, the belief and you need to support each other to win battles, to outplay them, outrun them and defending to match the runs.’

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