Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Exclusive: Man Utd learn prohibitive new price as Everton use Chelsea transfer as benchmark for elite star

Manchester United have made Jarrad Branthwaite their top transfer target

Manchester United have made Jarrad Branthwaite their top transfer target

Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite is one of the most in-demand defenders in Europe and TEAMtalk can confirm that Manchester United are extremely interested.

The 21-year-old has been the Toffees’ standout performer this season and his fantastic form has just earned him his first call-up to the England squad.

Branthwaite enjoyed a successful loan spell with PSV Eindhoven last term and he has now nailed down a spot in Sean Dyche’s starting XI.

The youngster has made 25 league appearances so far this season, scoring two goals and helping his team to seven clean sheets in the process.

He is a big reason why Everton has the joint-fourth-best defensive record in the Premier League, which could ultimately save them from relegation despite receiving a points deduction.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made signing a new centre-back his priority and TEAMtalk sources have confirmed that Man Utd have made Branthwaite their top defensive target.

There is an expectation that he will leave Everton in the summer and we understand that Chelsea are also keeping close tabs on his situation, although the Red Devil’s interest is more concrete at this stage.

Nice star Jean-Clair Todibo is another player Ratcliffe has his eye on, but Man Utd believe that Branthwaite would be a better value-for-money signing than him.

Everton to demand record fee for Jarrad Branthwaite

Everton see Branthwaite as one of their two most valuable assets – along with midfielder Amadou Onana – and will demand a huge fee for the centre-back.

As previously revealed by TEAMtalk, the Merseyside club are set to demand a minimum of £80m for Branthwaite.

This would make the former Carlisle United man the joint-most expensive defender of all time, equalling the amount Man Utd signed Harry Maguire for in 2019.

TEAMtalk sources say that Everton are using the sale of Wesley Fofana from Leicester City to Chelsea for £75m in the summer of 2022 as a benchmark for negotiations.

Ironically, Branthwaite could end up being brought in to replace Maguire as he is once again being linked with a move to West Ham United.

David Moyes’ side are reportedly ready to launch an offer for him in the coming months and believe they can snap him up on a cut-price deal.

The futures of Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans are also in doubt so it’s no shock that Ratcliffe has made signing a top-quality young centre-back his priority.

Whether Man Utd are willing to match Everton’s £80m valuation of Branthwaite this summer remains to be seen, but they are ready to do everything they can to bring him in.

Chelsea could rival the Red Devils for the Toffees star, but TEAMtalk sources state that Sporting Lisbon’s Ousmane Diomande is currently their top defensive target.

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