Man Utd: Ornstein reveals ‘big pinch point’ that could impact Branthwaite transfer from Everton

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Jarrad Branthwaite
Jarrad Branthwaite has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Man Utd could be helped by a “big pinch point” coming for some Premier League clubs as they attempt to buy Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.

Widespread reports indicated last week that the Red Devils had a bid of £35m turned down by the Toffees last week for Branthwaite as Man Utd look to start their transfer business early.

There could be major changes at Man Utd this summer after Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club with the British billionaire looking for bargain deals for younger players this summer.

Ratcliffe is determined to players under the age of 25 where possible with Man Utd having a rumoured budget of around £50m before player sales, which will be used to top up the kitty.

Branthwaite falls into INEOS’ ideal signing category because of his age and potential but Everton’s reported £70m demands could put Man Utd off.

Ornstein admits Everton will probably have to balance their books before June 30 to avoid any punishment over Premier League profitability and sustainability rules – but that their “hole is relatively small” compared to some clubs.

Ornstein wrote in The Athletic:

‘There’s a big pinch point coming on June 30 for clubs who need to deal with issues around the profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR).

‘Things realistically need to start moving this week if sales are to be made by then and a number of teams find themselves in that bracket.

‘Jarrad Branthwaite was subject to a bid worth £35million from Manchester United on Friday. Everton viewed the offer for their 21-year-old centre-back, which featured an additional £8m in bonuses, as unacceptable and rejected it.

‘Everton are among those with financial issues, although word from Goodison Park suggests the PSR hole is relatively small.

‘Their preference would be to solve the problem not by selling (nor dropping the asking price for) key players like Branthwaite but through other means, such as trading academy products.

‘But United’s proposal on the first day of the window, far lower than Everton’s asking price, suggests they believe their Premier League counterparts might have to consider letting him go before the month ends — and that this was merely an opening salvo.

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‘We need to watch whether United come back with an improved approach and how Everton respond. Are they going to hold firm? Is Branthwaite such a special talent that Everton’s valuation of more than £70million will not be reduced?

‘That figure appears to be out of United’s reach, so do they keep pushing or back off and focus on alternative targets? Will Everton be able to shift someone else or could their stance change?’