Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ratcliffe starts work on unstoppable double Man Utd deal with £125m duo to correct major weakness

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to strengthen Manchester United's defensive options

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to strengthen Manchester United's defensive options

Manchester United chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe has identified the central defensive position as an area of major weakness at Old Trafford, with plans reportedly in place to bring in TWO big-name stars to fix their issues this summer.

The Red Devils have chopped and changed their central defensive partnerships this season, with various combinations of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez marshalling the cental defence for Manchester United. Of those, it is Varane who has played the most times, figuring in 30 appearances, while both Maguire and Lindelof have featured 27 times apiece.

However, with Varane’s future under the spotlight amid claims Ratcliffe would be open to the idea of moving him on, and with veteran star Evans falling out of contract at the season’s end, it’s reported that the British billionaire – given full sporting control by the Glazers as part of his £1.3bn investment into 27.7% of the club – has identified the position as a major weakness in the club’s armoury.

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Indeed, despite the wealth of options at his disposal there, Erik ten Hag was forced to field another new partnership on Sunday as teenage star Willy Kambwala was selected alongside Maguire at the heart of the defence against Liverpool.

As it goes, the 19-year-old did his cause no harm with a pretty solid display against Jurgen Klopp’s side, proving himself another useful option to club chiefs. As a result, the Red Devils are reportedly set to offer the former Sochaux prospect a new deal, replacing the arrangement currently in place which is due to expire in summer 2025.

Ratcliffe outlines plans to sign defensive duo for Man Utd

Opportunities for Kambwala are likely to continue to present themselves to United over the remainder of the season, especially in light of Martinez’s ongoing fitness issues that have near-enough destroyed his second season at Old Trafford.

However, with both Evans and Varane expected to move on, Ratcliffe has earmarked two defensive additions this summer – and is reportedly willing to spend big to land his men.

According to the Daily Mirror, United’s top target is Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

READ MOREHow Jarrad Branthwaite compares to Lisandro Martinez as Man Utd consider blockbuster bid

The 21-year-old has enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season with the Toffees, forcing his way into the England squad and underling himself as one of the country’s leading young centre-halves.

However, with the Toffees’ financial troubles well documented, it’s believed they will likely have to consider the sale of at least one big-name player this summer.

To that end, TEAMtalk sources have confirmed United’s interest in the former PSV loanee is genuine and that a concrete effort to bring him to Old Trafford will be made this summer.

As a result, Everton are placing a minimum £75m fee on the defender’s head – a price Ratcliffe is reportedly willing to meet.

Man Utd also keen on Gleison Bremer as Juventus find replacement

He is not the only defender on their radar either, with United’s incoming new sporting director Dan Ashworth also reportedly pushing the club towards the capture of Juventus defender Gleison Bremer too.

The Brazilian is one of the most feared centre-halves in Serie A and has a clause that allows him to leave for €60m (£50m) in summer 2025.

However, il Corriere dello Sport claims United are asking Juve about the possibility of a deal for the 27-year-old this summer. However, if the Bianconeri are to sell, it is likely they will stand by that asking price as a benchmark for a possible deal.

Per the report, Juve are tempted by his possible sale, not just by way of making a substantial profit on their initial €40m fee paid to Torino, but also because they have already sounded out a potential replacement in the form of Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season under Thiago Motta; form which has earned him attention from Tottenham. However, it is Juve who look most likely to seal his signature, though they can only finance his signing by agreeing to sell Bremer first.

Ratcliffe, however, believes the double £125m deal will give United a steely-new backline and help bring provide a solid platform on which to build their quest to return to the English and European elite.

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