Man United handed £15 million financial boost in pursuit of defensive target

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This summer’s transfer window will see Manchester United prioritise a new centre-back.

After allowing Raphael Varane to depart as a free agent, the Red Devils are looking to upgrade their defensive line.

Although two centre-backs could be recruited, United will only pursue a second defender if either, or both, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire depart.

Consequently, Erik Ten Hag has drawn up a shortlist featuring Bayern Munich’s Matthijs De Ligt and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

De Ligt is rumoured to already be in talks with the Premier League giants after confirming his intentions to team back up with Ten Hag following the pair’s spell together at Ajax (Fabrizio Romano).

Man United handed transfer boost in pursuit of Jarrad Branthwaite

Everton’s asking price for Branthwaite, 22, remains a sticking point though. The Toffees are believed to value the young Englishman at close to £80 million — a fee the Red Devils are unlikely to meet.

Jarrad Branthwaite is a top transfer target for Manchester United.

However, according to a recent report from FootballTransfers, there is renewed hope an agreement for less can be reached. The outlet claims a deal worth £65 million, inclusive of add-ons, could be agreed.

Regardless of whether or not United continue their pursuit, the 22-year-old is not expected to force a move through out of respect for the Toffees.

Since making his club debut four years ago, Branthwaite, who spent the 2022-23 season out on loan with PSV, has made 54 senior appearances in all competitions. The defender’s contract expires in the summer of 2027.

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