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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Manchester United make lowball offer for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite

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Manchester United have made an opening bid of £35m plus add-ons for Jarrad Branthwaite, which Everton are poised to reject.

The Merseyside club’s stance is that they do not want to sell the 21-year-old centre-back and that they value him at least twice as much as United’s initial offer.

United have acted swiftly after the opening of the transfer window and want to make the England international their first signing of the Ineos era.

But there is a huge gap between the price Everton have put on Branthwaite and the amount United are prepared to pay.

Both clubs have PSR issues with Everton potentially needing to sell by 30 June after failing Financial Fair Play for each of the last two seasons and suffering two different points deductions last season.

But United have less room for leeway after heavy spending in the last two years, when they have paid out around £400m for new players in Erik ten Hag’s reign, unless they can raise funds by selling players. Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood are among those they hope to sell this summer.

They have made a central defender one of their priorities this summer after deciding to release Raphael Varane rather than offer him a new contract, and after last season was marred by a host of injuries to their five main centre-backs.

Everton’s view is that Branthwaite, at 21, as an England international and as a relative rarity in that he is a left-footed centre-back, should command the sort of price that would make him among the most expensive defenders ever if he leaves.

Meanwhile, Everton captain Seamus Coleman has signed a one-year contract to keep him at Goodison Park for a 16th season.

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