Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd told four reasons why £80m star is perfect signing for new era; second target likened to UCL winner

Louis Saha, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

An ex-Man Utd player has praised Jarrad Branthwaite

Louis Saha has given his verdict on Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and a second star Manchester United could spend big money to sign this summer.

New Man Utd chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe has decided central defence is one area that needs to be strengthened as a priority in the summer. This is due to concerns over current players Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez.

Evans is in the twilight years of his career and could soon hang up his boots, while Varane is expected to leave on a free transfer when his contract expires on June 30. Maguire has once again emerged as a target for West Ham United, too.

Martinez is arguably Man Utd’s most reliable centre-half when fit, though he has been held back by foot and knee injuries this season.

These factors have seen Ratcliffe identify Branthwaite as a prime target to play in the Man Utd defence for the next 10 years or more.

Branthwaite is only 21 but already possesses a good amount of Premier League experience, having shone during 25 appearances for Everton this campaign.

DON’T MISS: How Jarrad Branthwaite compares to Lisandro Martinez as Man Utd consider blockbuster bid

On Monday, sources confirmed to TEAMtalk that Man Utd are extremely interested in the youngster, though they will have to pay £80million to sign him.

Everton rate Branthwaite very highly and are looking at Wesley Fofana’s £75m switch to Chelsea in 2022 as a marker for any possible deal.

Man Utd target ‘has a lot of quality’

Saha, who won two Prem titles and the Champions League with Man Utd between 2004 and 2008, has now weighed in on the Branthwaite to Man Utd rumours.

The former striker thinks Branthwaite has the quality, physical presence, maturity and the right camp around him to become a big hit at Old Trafford.

“He will have to prove that he’s good enough because there’s a lot of talent in Manchester United’s squad and it’s a big step up coming from Everton,” Saha said in a recent interview (via Stretty News).

“Jarrad has a lot of quality, he’s got the physique, he comes across as down to earth and he seems to have the right people around him, so there are a lot of indications that suggest he could be the right fit.

“If Manchester United wants to buy a player, then that’s because they’re performing on a regular basis for their club, so I do believe Jarrad is the right target. You need to be prepared mentally to make the move to a club like Manchester United because it’s such a big step.”

Another solution to Man Utd’s centre-back problems is Leny Yoro, the 18-year-old Frenchman who is shining at Lille.

Saha went on to compare Yoro with Varane, who won four Champions Leagues with Real Madrid before joining Man Utd.

“I think he [Yoro] could have an immediate impact if he moved to the Premier League because he’s a big boy, very confident technically and quick,” Saha added.

“He has all the ingredients that a modern day centre-back possesses. It’s incredible how trusted he is at his age and I’m sure he could adapt very quickly to the Premier League.

“Raphael Varane moved to Real Madrid when he was 18 and Yoro is a similar type of defender that brings calmness to a defence. With the right manager and the right teammates, he can have an amazing career. Yoro’s a really exciting player and I’m sure that Manchester United won’t be the only club looking to sign him.”

READ MORE: Seven Casemiro replacements Man Utd could buy this summer as they target perfect Kobbie Mainoo partner