Manchester United pay world record fee for a defender

Manchester United have completed the signing of England defender Harry Maguire from Leicester for PS80 million ($A144 million), a world record fee for a defender.

The 26-year-old has signed a six-year contract at Old Trafford with the option of a further year after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

Maguire was strongly linked with both Manchester clubs over the northern summer, but Leicester held out for their valuation and the fee surpasses the PS75 million Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk in January 2018.

"I am delighted to have signed for this great club," Maguire told his new club's official website.

Harry Maguire of Manchester United looks around the Aon Training Complex after signing for the club at Aon Training Complex on August 04, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.

"From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It's clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer referred to his new signings as "one of the best centre-backs in the game today".

Harry Maguire, Leicester City.

"He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure - coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes - I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch," Solskjaer said.

"He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club.

"I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season."