Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘ready to attack’ for £120m double signing as Everton make Ratcliffe sweat

Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, Bayern Munich centre-back Matthijs De Ligt, Man Utd transfer targets

Manchester United are closing in on Bayern Munich star Matthijs de Ligt, but as we’ve consistently reported, they may sign more than one new centre-back this summer.

It’s no secret that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a huge admirer of Everton youngster Jarrad Branthwaite, who was the Toffees’ standout performer last season.

Branthwaite played a vital role in keeping Everton in the Premier League despite an eight-point deduction, with his team having the fourth-best defensive record in the division.

The 22-year-old narrowly missed out on a spot in England’s Euro 2024 squad and he’s only expected to improve as he gains experience, hence why he’s a top target for Man Utd.

The Red Devils have already made one offer of £43m (including add-ons) for Branthwaite, which was instantly laughed off by Everton as they will only consider a minimum of £70m.

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TEAMtalk sources say Everton view the £80m fee that saw Man Utd sign Harry Maguire, and the £75m transfer that took Wesley Fofana to Chelsea, as benchmarks for negotiations.

Man Utd are now close to signing another top centre-back in De Ligt for roughly £50m – but Ratcliffe could still make another attempt to sign Branthwaite too, per reports.

Man Utd still keen on Branthwaite; he won’t force exit

According to trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano, despite Man Utd’s clamour to sign De Ligt, Branthwaite remains high on Ratcliffe’s shortlist.

Romano has told GIVEMESPORT that the chances of the Red Devils snaring two centre-backs ‘remains a possibility.’

In fact, Branthwaite is the only defender Man Utd have currently submitted a concrete bid for at this stage, although talks for De Ligt are well underway.

Romano backs up our information that Everton are standing firm on their £70m valuation of Branthwaite though, which Ratcliffe still isn’t willing to pay.

However, he claims that if Sean Dyche’s side drop their demands, the Red Devils are ‘ready to attack’ and sign the former Carlisle United defender.

Meanwhile, recent reports suggest that Manchester City are considering a bid for Branthwaite, so the race is still open at this stage.

Everton are no longer under pressure to sell players as the sales of Lewis Dobbin and Ben Godfrey seem to have got them on the right side of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

Sources have informed TEAMtalk that Branthwaite has no intention of forcing an exit from Goodison Park this summer as he has too much respect for the club to cause any issues behind the scenes.

Branthwaite is under contract until 2027 and Man Utd will have to put their money where their mouth is if they want to sign both De Ligt and him this summer.

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