Tottenham gift Man Utd golden chance after shock U-turn over raid for elite Everton star as priorities shift

Jarrad Branthwaite and Jordan Pickford

Jarrad Branthwaite is in demand thanks to his form for Everton

Tottenham Hotspur have money to spend in the summer but that doesn’t mean they will pay up for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, potentially leaving Manchester United in the clear.

That’s according to an update from Football Insider, suggesting Tottenham have quickly backtracked in the race for Branthwaite despite recently being listed on their shortlist ahead of the summer transfer window.

Reports last week suggested Tottenham could sanction a big-money move for Branthwaite after being impressed with his rapid rise at Everton this season.

However, Football Insider has now provided an update that Tottenham ‘will struggle to justify’ meeting Everton’s demands for Branthwaite.

After all, Tottenham already have Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven and Radu Dragusin as centre-backs for the long term. If they are uncertain Branthwaite would be a guaranteed starter, it would be illogical to spend big on him.

Indeed, they have other priorities for the upcoming transfer window, such as signing a striker who can finally replace Harry Kane after his move to Bayern Munich last summer.

Tottenham could yet make an offer to Everton though for a different player after TEAMtalk exclusively revealed their interest in midfielder James Garner over the weekend.

Spurs have identified Garner as a potentially more gettable alternative midfield target to Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher.

Door opens for Branthwaite to join Man Utd

As for Branthwaite, a move to Manchester United might now come into sharper focus after intense speculation about interest from the Red Devils.

Raphael Varane looks likely to leave Man Utd in the summer and Branthwaite could be brought in as a replacement, even though Lisandro Martinez is already established as a left-footed centre-back in Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Football Insider maintains that Man Utd are in pole position for Branthwaite, despite the same source recently hinting at Tottenham’s interest.

Everton still have Branthwaite under contract until 2027 after extending his deal a few months after he returned from a productive loan spell with PSV last year.

He now has 40 appearances under his belt for Everton, who originally signed him from Carlisle United back in January 2020.

When the time comes to sell him, they are in line to make a massive profit on the England under-21 international – which may be a bittersweet blow, but could certainly be useful for a club that has received a 10-point deduction this season for profit and sustainability shortcomings.

And because of the fee they will demand, Tottenham may ultimately decide to spend elsewhere if they are still happy with Romero, Van de Ven and Dragusin.

They also invested in Ashley Phillips last summer as a long-term option, but haven’t yet given him too many chances and sent him on loan to Plymouth Argyle in January.

In theory, though, a centre-back department comprising Romero, Van de Ven, Dragusin and Phillips – with Ben Davies as an emergency solution – should be enough for Tottenham.

Investing in a player like Branthwaite, who may have expectations of furthering his career with more regular gametime at a higher level, may just cause doubts about the future of one of their existing high-pedigree centre-backs.

But Tottenham like what they have seen from Romero and Van de Ven as Ange Postecoglou’s preferred partnership and have also made a not-so-insignificant investment in Dragusin for the future.

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