Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd turn attention to Chelsea, Arsenal linked Prem defender as alternative to Everton star

Man Utd will try and sign Marc Guehi from Crystal Palace if they miss out on Jarrad Branthwaite

Man Utd will try and sign Marc Guehi from Crystal Palace if they miss out on Jarrad Branthwaite

Manchester United’s top centre-back target for the summer is Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite but Sir Jim Ratcliffe has a back-up plan if their approach fails.

The 21-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best young defenders in Europe and played a key role in keeping the Toffees in the Premier League this season.

With a formidable centre-back partnership of Branthwaite, James Tarkowski and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford behind them, Everton had the fourth-best defensive record in the Premier League.

Branthwaite is only expected to improve as he gains experience and that’s why Sean Dyche isn’t willing to let him go for anything less than £80m, per reports.

Man Utd effectively set that bar when they signed Harry Maguire for £80m in 2019 and Everton believes Branthwaite will become a much better player than him.

He fits into Ratcliffe’s transfer plan to sign the hottest prospects in football but it isn’t clear whether he is willing to match his price tag.

The Ineos chief is eyeing another top Premier League defender should Man Utd miss out on Branthwaite this summer.

READ MOREErik ten Hag sack: Bruno Fernandes comes out swinging in staunch defence of Man Utd boss

Man Utd eye swoop for Crystal Palace star

According to Give Me SportMan Utd will prioritise a move for Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi should they miss out on Branthwaite.

The Eagles had a fantastic end to the season under new manager Oliver Glasner but reports suggest Guehi is ready to take on a new challenge elsewhere.

Chelsea and Arsenal are also interested in the 23-year-old England international but luring him away from Selhurst Park will not be easy.

The report claims that Palace will demand £60m for Guehi but Man Utd are hopeful that they can bring him in for £50m.

In theory, this would make him £30m cheaper than Branthwaite if Everton stand firm on their price tag of £80m for him.

The Red Devils could then put those other funds into reinforcing other areas of their squad with new midfielders, wingers and a striker all needed at Old Trafford.

It will be a summer of change at Man Utd with Erik ten Hag still expected to leave the club despite leading them to FA Cup glory on Saturday.

A new centre-back is Ratcliffe’s priority, however, and the Red Devils will try to sign Branthwaite first before moving on to other targets.

DON’T MISSMan Utd striker targets: EVERY option linked for the summer 2024 transfer window