Ratcliffe selects ‘primary’ transfer target as Man Utd, Tottenham ‘push more than most’ to finalise deal

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd transfer
Jarrad Branthwaite could be on the move this summer.

Manchester United have reportedly selected Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite as one of their ‘primary’ targets ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

Branthwaite has been one of the breakout stars in the Premier League during the 2023/24 campaign. After spending last term on loan in the Eredivisie with PSG Eindhoven, he has shone alongside James Tarkowski for Everton this season.

The centre-back’s form has not gone unnoticed as he is already being linked with several Premier League teams.

Everton are understood to have optimistically set their asking price at £100m but he – especially if they are relegated – is likely to be sold for about half that.

Ex-Everton and Man Utd striker Louis Saha recently explained why he would be happy if the Red Devils signed Branthwaite.

“He’s a talented defender that’s very aggressive and quick,” Saha told Betfred.

“I like his left foot and how he’s a tall player that can dominate in the air. I do believe his reading of the game needs improvement, but I do believe he can still improve and he has a lot of potential.

“I can understand why Manchester United are interested in signing him.

“There are other defenders at the club currently that can help Jarrad realise his potential and I do believe a move for him makes sense.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of Man Utd was ratified by the Premier League on Tuesday afternoon and it’s been claimed that Branthwaite and Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise are among his preferred summer targets.

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Now a report from The Daily Mail claims ‘Man Utd and Tottenham are pushing more than most ahead of a transfer scramble for Branthwaite this summer’. They explain.

‘While Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all enquired about the 21-year-old, Confidential understands that it is United and Spurs that are making the most concerted effort at this stage.

‘It is understood United are looking to bring in two young centre backs this summer as INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe get their first chance of improving Erik ten Hag’s side in the transfer market.

‘Homegrown players are going to be a key focus and Branthwaite appeals given he is a left-sided centre back, something Ten Hag is seeking in a bid to have better balance across the defence.

‘There is not tunnel vision on Branthwaite, though, with United keeping in contact over centre backs such as Benfica’s Antonio Silva, Jean-Clair Todibo at Nice, and Lille’s 18-year-old Leny Yoro, who has caught Real Madrid’s eye. But it is Branthwaite that stands as a primary target ahead of the summer.’

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Earlier this season, Branthwaite indicated that he is keen to “repay” Everton manager Sean Dyche.

“Last season was massive for me, going out and developing, and I felt I had the belief coming back into the training ground that I was good enough to play,” Branthwaite said.

“It was about staying patient and I think I did that at the start of the season when I didn’t play but the manager has given me a chance which I’m grateful for and I hope I’m repaying him with the performances.”