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‘Pay or go somewhere else’: Man United urged to launch £70m bid for key target

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The last time Simon Jordan told Manchester United to pay up, the Red Devils refused to listen to his advice.

And it’s fair to say Sir Jim Ratcliffe emerged victorious from a saga that had been running throughout much of 2024. Not only did Manchester United finally get their man in Dan Ashworth, they also sealed the long-awaited appointment of their new sporting director on their terms.

Ratcliffe made it clear from day one that he had no intention of paying the compensation fee of £20 million Newcastle wanted, which Jordan urged him to agree on.

So, when Newcastle finally accepted a fee of ‘significantly’ less then £10 million on the final day of the financial year, this felt like an early tick in the win column for an ownership group determined to bring an end to a culture of overpaying at Old Trafford, per The Sun.

Man United have adopted a similar stance in their pursuit of Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite too.

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Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on May 19, 2024 in London, Engl...

Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Manchester United plan third Jarrad Branthwaite bid

In an attempt to move on from that so-called ‘Manchester United tax’, Ineos have remained steadfast in their belief that Everton will eventually come around to their way of thinking and let Branthwaite go for much less than that £70 million asking price.

According to The Times, United will submit a third bid. A second offer worth £45 million – rising to £50 million – has been rejected by The Toffees.

And, after the success of that Ashworth negotiation, you can probably forgive Man United if they decide against taking Simon Jordan’s advice with regards to the Braithwaite situation too.

“Look, when there is a distraction with a big tournament going on, it creates opportunities for players who are not there,” the former Crystal Palace chairman tells talkSPORT (9 July, 12pm), Branthwaite left out of England’s Euro 2024 squad.

“If Man United are being forced into a situation which they should be – in which Everton do not have to sell – then pay the price.

“You’ve got big enough mouths about what you are as a football club. You should pay the price that the selling club has in mind or go and point your gun somewhere else.”

Despite the ongoing pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt and Leny Yoro, Branthwaite has been Man United’s priority central defensive target since the first minute the window opened.

According to The Telegraph, personal terms have already been agreed with the Cumbrian colossus.

Everton still want around £70 million

In fairness to Everton, you can understand why they are reluctant to give in so easily, in the knowledge that they are dealing with a club who have so often caved in the midst of tense negotiations.

Everton reportedly feel that, if Man United can pay £80 million for Harry Maguire, then Branthwaite should command a similar fee.

But this is not the Glazer-controlled United Everton are dealing with. It’s Ineos’ time, and what better way to send a message than to agree a deal for Branthwaite without resorting to overpaying?

“I know (Everton boss) Dyche will be absolutely desperate to keep him,” adds former England defender Stuart Pearce, while urging Aaron Wan-Bissaka to pursue a potential switch to West Ham.

“(Branthwaite) had an outstanding season last year. To be fair, Harry Maguire that was around a similar (fee).

“This day and age, I couldn’t even put a price on players. But if he can deliver what they think he can deliver…”

  • READ: Who is Jarrad Branthwaite? Everything you need to know…

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