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Jarrad Branthwaite the Focus of Manchester United-Everton Transfer Standoff

In what promises to be a pivotal first transfer transfer window for INEOS, Manchester United are prepared to switch focus if Everton remains sticky in their £70m valuation of Jarrad Branthwaite.

Man United have identified Jarrad Branthwaite as a key defensive reinforcement, but Everton’s asking price of over £70 million could put a potential deal in jeopardy. The Red Devils are keen to secure the 21-year-old centre-back, with positive contact already made with the player’s representatives and terms already agreed with the player. Branthwaite is keen on a move to Manchester United.

Man United are believed to have made an offer in the region of £45m for the Everton defender, which will be rejected as an opening offer by the Toffees, with Everton expecting a much larger fee for the young England international.

However, Everton will need to lower their demands for a deal to materialize. If Everton stand firm, United are ready to turn their attention to other defensive targets such as Crystal Palace’s Marc Guéhi, Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, Sporting’s Gonçalo Inácio, Lille’s Leny Yoro, and Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt.

Branthwaite’s performances for Everton this season have not gone unnoticed, establishing him as a hot prospect in the transfer market. It was a major personal disappointment that the Carlisle academy graduate didn’t make the England Euro 2024 squad, even though Harry Maguire was ruled out through injury. Despite his enthusiasm for a move to Old Trafford, Everton’s valuation, influenced by Josko Gvardiol’s £77 million transfer to Manchester City, and Man United’s previous £80m signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester may stop the deal from happening.

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Everton needs to sell due to Premier League profit and sustainability regulations. If they don’t meet regulations there is a chance they will be deducted points once again this season. Branthwaite is one of their most sellable assets, with Dominic Calvert another player who has been linked with a move away to help their financial situation.

Funding Jarrad Branthwaite’s move

The financial constraints on United this summer are significant, necessitating prudent spending with the club reportedly only having a £50m budget to spend. The club’s transfer budget is notably tight, and any expenditure on a new centre-back will directly affect their ability to pursue other targets with the club targeting a backup striker, defensive midfielder and utility players at full-back. With a limited budget, the outlay will depend on potential outgoings.

In an effort to boost their transfer kitty, Man United are actively seeking permanent transfers for Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood, both valued at approximately £40 million each. Sancho and Greenwood, who spent the last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund and Getafe respectively, are prioritized for permanent exits before any loan options are considered. Other players who are earmarked for a move away from the club include Facundo Pellistri who has failed to become a regular in the club, and Christian Eriksen and Casemiro.

Casemiro has been linked with a move away from the club after reportedly falling out with Erik ten Hag late in the season. With his performances of late, his regard in the game has dropped substantially. He was not included in Brazil’s Copa America squad and immiment moves to Saudi Arabia are wide of the mark. Al Nassr, Al Ittihad, and Al Hilal are not in the market for a defensive midfielder while Al Ahli are unlikely to target the Brazilian.

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Al Ahli’s German manager Matthias Jaissle wants to bring in Joshua Kimmich from Bayern Munich, as he knows him very well. Saudi Pro League newcomers Al Qadsiah FC may be backed by Aramco, but are yet to splash the cash on a big-name signing. It is yet to be known if they will go for a big name or continue signing more responsibly.

As the summer window progresses, United’s strategy remains flexible, no one target is needed, but a list of options. The club is committed to strengthening the squad while navigating financial constraints and will pivot to alternative targets if Everton’s stance on Branthwaite does not soften. The expectancy is that Everton and Man United will meet a compromise due to Everton’s need to sell and Man United’s wanting to buy. It is likely this move happens.

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