By Noel Whelan

11th Oct, 2021 | 1:14pm

Man United told to finalise deal for star 'like Van Dijk' after 'massive' update reported - pundit

Noel Whelan has insisted a new contract for “pivotal” Man United star Harry Maguire would be “massive” for the club.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 28-year-old and summer signing Raphael Varane could become “one of the best centre-back partnerships in the Premier League”.

As reported by the Mirror on Saturday (October 9th), Manchester United are preparing to offer Maguire a bumper new deal to bring his salary closer to summer signings Varane and Jadon Sancho.

The report claims the Red Devils are looking to reward their captain with fresh terms based on his “status in the dressing room” at Old Trafford.

Maguire’s current contract at the club expires in 2025.

He signed a six-year deal with the Red Devils in 2019 after his reported £80million move from Leicester City.

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Whelan insisted there are not many like Maguire in world football, drawing a comparison to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

“A new contract for him would be massive, he’s pivotal,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“Just like Van Dijk, there are not many fantastic organising centre-halves around – and he’s one of them.

“He’s a winner, very dominant at the back, he’s a unit – like Van Dijk, he’s a real presence there.

“You need these players in your spine, and he’s one player that needs to build a rapport with Raphael Varane.

“If you get those two firing, you have one of the best centre-back partnerships in the Premier League.

“It’s about finding that consistency. Tying him down is crucial for Manchester United.”

Maguire is currently sidelined having been withdrawn with a calf complaint in last month’s defeat against Aston Villa.

He has made six league appearances for Man United this term.

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