Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd, Everton competing to sign ‘great’ centre-back as contract twist drives up price tag

Man Utd and Everton are both keen on Aaron Anselmino

Man Utd and Everton are both keen on Aaron Anselmino

Boca Juniors centre-back Aaron Anselmino is one of the most promising youngsters in South America and Manchester United and Everton are interested in him.

The 19-year-old has broken into the Argentinian giant’s first team and his mature performances have caught the attention of clubs in Europe.

Man Utd have made signing a new centre-back one of their top priorities for the summer and Sir Jim Ratcliffe will focus on young players with high potential.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Raphael Varane will be leaving the Red Devils as a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June.

The futures of Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are also unclear at this stage, so Man Utd may have to bring in more than one new centre-back.

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As TEAMtalk have consistently reported, Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite is Ratcliffe’s top target and things are expected to move quickly regarding that deal soon after the campaign ends.

Anselmino is also on their radar and could be looked at as a second signing.

Branthwaite’s potential departure from Everton will leave Sean Dyche with a void in his squad and given the Toffees’ admiration for Anselmino, they could rival the Red Devils for the Boca Juniors star.

Boca Juniors remove release clause of Man Utd, Everton target

Anselmino broke into the Boca Juniors first team in June 2023 and has formed a solid centre-back partnership with former Man Utd man Marcos Rojo.

He has made nine senior appearances to date for the Argentinian giants, helping his team to six clean sheets and scoring one goal in the process.

“He will compete with the centre-backs,” Boca president Juan Romas Riquelme about the teenager. “He looks bigger. With the growth, the head he has and the desire to learn that he shows, he is going to be a great footballer.”

Reports suggest that Man Utd have already held preliminary talks over a deal for Anselmino, while Real Madrid are also interested in him.

Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell has also identified Anselmino as a target, however, and could look to replace Branthwaite with him.

The defender previously had an £18.5m release clause in his contract.

However, he has just signed a new deal which increased his wages and removed that clause – as Boca believe he is worth more and want to keep hold of him for as long as possible.

Everton will have to be shrewd in the transfer market due to their financial challenges, but if they receive their £70m price tag for Branthwaite, bringing in Anselmino as a long-term replacement could prove to be a great bit of business.

Man Utd are only willing to pay £55m for the Toffees star at this stage, though.

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