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Manchester United 'willing to pay £55m for top defensive target'

Man Utd 'willing to pay £55m for top defensive target'
© Reuters
Manchester United are willing to offer £55m for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite this summer, according to a report.

Manchester United are reportedly willing to offer £55m for Jarrad Branthwaite this summer, but Everton value the in-demand centre-back closer to £80m.

The Red Devils are likely to bring in two new central defenders during the upcoming market, as Raphael Varane's exit has already been confirmed, while Jonny Evans is also likely to leave on a free transfer.

The club are also believed to be open to offers for Victor Lindelof, with two new centre-backs therefore set to move to Old Trafford ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Branthwaite continues to be heavily linked with a switch to Man United, with the 21-year-old excelling for the Toffees his term.

According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils are willing to offer around £55m for the defender, who has made 40 appearances for Sean Dyche's side this season.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Man United 'preparing to offer £55m for Branthwaite'

Everton are allegedly insisting that Branthwaite is not for sale, but the Merseyside club are in a difficult financial position, which could lead to the defender leaving this summer.

The Toffees are said to value the Englishman at closer to £80m, with Man United therefore potentially needing to raise their alleged planned bid in order to stand a chance of signing him.

Branthwaite, who made the move to Everton from Carlisle United in 2020, spent the 2022-23 campaign on loan at PSV Eindhoven before returning to Goodison Park.

The defender has made 53 appearances for the Toffees in all competitions, including 40 outings during the 2023-24 campaign, with 34 of those coming in the Premier League.

Jarrad Branthwaite celebrates scoring for Everton on February 3, 2024© Reuters

Would Branthwaite be a good signing for Man United?

Everton's form since their 6-0 loss at Chelsea on April 15 has been excellent, and Branthwaite has been particularly impressive during his side's strong run.

The Toffees have won four and drawn one of their last five league games, keeping clean sheets in four of those encounters, with Branthwaite playing every minute.

The 6ft 5in centre-back has shown his potential throughout the season, and he is exactly the type of player that Man United should be targeting as part of their rebuild.

There will seemingly be an issue when it comes to price, though, as Man United are not in a position to spend £80m considering that they also want to sign a central midfielder and a centre-forward.

Tosin Adarabioyo is also allegedly wanted by the Red Devils, with the defender set to leave Fulham on a free transfer at the end of next month.

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