Manchester United make realistic demands for Everton defender

According to reports, Manchester United has put pressure on Everton to take a more "realistic" approach to Jarrad Branthwaite's value
Erik ten Hag calls for investment to ensure Manchester United remain competitive
Erik ten Hag calls for investment to ensure Manchester United remain competitive

(Football news) The England international is currently thought to be the Red Devils’ top center-back target for the 2024–25 campaign. They have been hoping to take advantage of Everton’s financial predicament in order to negotiate a lower price.

The Toffees, on the other hand, are thought to be holding out for a £70 million deal to allow him to depart since they do not feel as much pressure to accept a lowball offer after avoiding Premier League relegation.

While Manchester United tested the market with an initial proposal of £35 million that increased to £43 million with add-ons, Everton reportedly believes that Branthwaite commands the same outrageous transfer fee as Harry Maguire.

The Toffees quickly laughed off the Red Devils’ first approach and are holding out for at least double that amount to enter talks, but they have been told to “get realistic” by their Manchester United’s counterparts.

Manchester United ‘have just £50m’ to spend

The report adds that Manchester United are not backing down on their initial valuation, which they believe is fair, and they have told Everton to consider Branthwaite’s real market value if they want to shake hands on an agreement.

As things stand, the Red Devils supposedly only have a transfer budget of around £50m to work with this summer, as they are one of many limited by the constraints of Financial Fair Play.

However, player sales could help bump up that figure significantly, and only seven of Erik ten Hag’s most important troops are thought to be completely safe from the chop this summer.

All of Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund, Kobbie Mainoo, Andre Onana, Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Amad Diallo are considered untouchable, but bids for all other players will be entertained.

As a result, the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Maguire and Marcus Rashford could be let go if the right offer comes in, while Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane and Brandon Williams will all be leaving when their contracts expire.

Branthwaite’s stellar 2023-24 campaign saw the 21-year-old register three goals in 41 matches for Sean Dyche’s side, taking his total for the Toffees to four goals from 54 games across all tournaments.

The defender earned a spot in England’s provisional Euro 2024 squad on account of his stellar campaign, but he was one of seven players axed when Gareth Southgate named his final 26.

What alternative centre-backs can Manchester United target?

If Man United’s ‘realistic’ demand to Everton falls on deaf ears, one of two Sporting Lisbon defenders in Goncalo Inacio or Ousmane Diomande could be pursued instead, as well as fellow Primeira Liga man Antonio Silva of Benfica.

Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Lille’s Leny Yoro are also of interest to the Red Devils, although there is a consensus that the latter will eventually end up at Real Madrid.

Furthermore, Manchester United have been barred from signing Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo by UEFA due to rules on multi-club ownership, as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS are also in control of the French club.

Also read: Croatia will play Albania in their second match of the Euro 2024


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