Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ratcliffe stunned as first major Man Utd transfer crumbles; full focus now on Everton ace

Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo and Everton Jarrad Branthwaite

One Man Utd transfer could be blocked, though another will now take shape

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to be denied with his first act in the transfer market, though reports claim Manchester United will now go full steam ahead to sign an Everton ace.

A huge summer is expected at Old Trafford as new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to make an instant impact. Failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League would dent Man Utd’s spending power, though the sales and free agent exits of various high profile stars would more than compensate.

Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are all out of contract in the summer. Elsewhere, Man Utd will listen to permanent offers for the likes of Donny Van de Beek, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Antony.

A new centre-back, a young left-back, a central midfielder and striker are all wanted. If buyers are found for some or all of Sancho, Antony and Greenwood, an addition on the wings will also be required.

Today’s update regards the centre-back position and once Ratcliffe and INEOS took charge at Old Trafford, speculation their first signing could come from Nice went into overdrive.

Both United and Nice now share the same ownership and a move for highly-rated centre-half, Jean-Clair Todibo, was touted.

The 24-year-old has been in fantastic form in Ligue 1 this season and earned his first two caps for France at the back-end of 2023.

Ratcliffe’s influence – given he’s part of the ownership at both clubs – had been listed as a factor that would help to facilitate Todibo’s transfer to United.

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Todibo to Man Utd falling apart

However, 90min recently reported Nice are unwilling to offer United a discounted price for their star defender. The alleged price tag of around £50m was also causing consternation at Old Trafford.

Now, a fresh update from Football Insider has taken it a step further. They state Nice are determined not to lose Todibo for any price. Furthermore, it’s claimed ‘senior figures at Nice are prepared to block a deal.’

With Nice playing hardball and United unconvinced by the cost of the transfer anyway, attention has now switched closer to home.

FI acknowledge Todibo was actually a back-up option for Man Utd in the centre-back position. Their primary target is Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and that’s a claim the Mirror also made last week.

Man Utd to make modest opening bid

They stated Ratcliffe is the driving force behind United’s impending pursuit of the 21-year-old who recently earned his first call-up to the senior England side.

Ratcliffe is prioritising the signings of younger stars who are either British, or at the very least have Premier League experience.

Branthwaite obviously fits that billing, as does fellow confirmed target, Michael Olise.

Everton’s delicate financial positions means a summer sale will reluctantly be explored even if they stave off relegation.

Everton understandably value the player highly and would hope to generate upwards of £70m for Branthwaite.

However, United intend to test the waters with an opening gambit worth roughly £50m. If rejected, they’ll weigh up their options before potentially raising the stakes.

Interestingly, a move for Branthwaite would mean United’s two front-line starters at centre-back – Lisandro Martinez included – would both be left-footed.

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