Man United warned Chelsea could join race to sign Premier League centre-back

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Former club chief Keith Wyness has warned Manchester United they could face competition in their pursuit of Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.

Expected to be one of the Toffees’ big movers this summer, Brantwaite, 21, has already been subject to one bid.

Determined to sign a new centre-back this window, Erik Ten Hag, backed by new Manchester United minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has identified Everton’s number 32 as a top defensive target.

Jarrad Branthwaite is a top transfer target for Manchester United.

Making the Merseyside giants an opening bid worth £45 million, which was quickly rejected, the Red Devils are rumoured to be preparing an improved offer (Daily Mail).

Man United warned Chelsea could join Jarrad Branthwaite race

However, according to Wyness, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 20-time league winners found themselves fending off competition from English rivals Chelsea — another club also in need of a new defender following Thiago Silva’s decision to return to Brazil.

“With Thiago Silva going, I think they’re going to have to look at bringing in another centre-half,” Wyness told Football Insider‘s Insider Track podcast.

“I thought they would’ve been in for Branthwaite, I thought they would’ve been prepared to bring him in.

“They may still come in, later in the window, it could happen soon.

“They certainly need more talent in the centre-back area.

“Chelsea also haven’t solved their attacking situation. There’s no doubt they need another in there.”

Although Chelsea have been tipped to enter the race for Branthwaite’s signature, United remain the transfer saga’s firm favourites.

Since making his first-team debut for Everton in July 2022, Branthwaite, who has three years left on his contract, has scored four goals in 54 games in all competitions.

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