Manchester United may have a secret weapon to help them land Harry Maguire – Central Coast Mariners chief Mike Phelan.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's No2 headed back to Old Trafford in December to work alongside the Norwegian.
But Phelan's managerial career before returning to United May be key to Maguire landing.
Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favorite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $ 25 / month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial >
That's because the pair worked together at Hull.
Maguire joined the Tigers from Sheffield United in 2014 and six months later, Phelan also headed to Humberside to become assistant manager.
At the end of the 2015/16 season, despite leading the club to promotion through the playoffs, Steve Bruce left the club and Phelan was given the job after impressive as interim boss at the start of the new season.
And in that same season, Phelan excelling, Maguire enjoyed a fine campaign, his first in the Premier League.
The manager was sacked in the January and the club suffered relegation under Marco Silva but Maguire did enough to earn his £ 17million ($ 30.5m) move to Leicester.
In his two seasons with the Foxes, the center-half has established himself as an England regular and played a key role as the Three Lions with the World Cup semi-finals.
MORE FOOTBALL NEWS
GEORDIE GAMBLE: Former rival boss "in consideration" for job
CALL IN THE TROOPS: United's huge warchest as $ 404m duo nears exit
"LA RAPPER FOUND IT": Premier League ace reunited with "kidnapped" dog
United were interested last year in signing Maguire but Jose Mourinho couldn't convince the board to splash the cash.
But this summer they face a battle with Manchester City for his signature.
The defender, 26, would prefer a move to the Etihad, but Pep Guardiola's side are yet to make an offer acceptable to Leicester.
The Foxes do not need to sell and Maguire is under contract until 2023 – so the King Power club are understandably holding out for a world-record fee, likely to be as much as £ 90m ($ 162m).
But both clubs are still hopeful £ 85m might be enough to strike a deal.
Solskjaer has his side duties to Australia for their pre-season campaign.
And while he is still able to bring in new signings such as Maguire, more of the talk has been about who United will sell.
"PROMOTING DIVERSITY": FFA's historic policy set to "recognize heritage"
Paul Pogba and David De Gea's futures remain unclear but the Red Devils boss insists the club are in control.
Solskjaer said: “We’re Manchester United we don't have to sell players. We don't have any bids for our players.
“There’s been loads of talks and speculation about many of our players, both ins and outs, but for me it's business as usual. When you're at Manchester United you expect these things to pop up. "
(tagsToTranslate) Australia (t) Australia and New Zealand (t) Central Coast Mariners (t) David de Gea (t) England hero (t) FOOTBALL NEWS (t) Jose Mourinho (t) Manchester United Football Club (t) Marco Silva (t) Mike Phelan (t) Oceania (t) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (t) Pep Guardiola (t) Premier League (s) Sheffield United Football Club (s) Steve Bruce (t) assistant manager (s) duo nears (t) ) favorite device (t) intriguing role (t) lock-in contract (t) secret weapon (t) transfer chase (t) transfer news