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Manchester United 'confident of completing deal' for £75m-rated centre-back

Man United 'confident of completing deal' for £75m-rated centre-back'
© Reuters
Manchester United are reportedly optimistic that they can strike a deal to sign Everton's 21-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

Manchester United are reportedly confident that they can agree a deal to sign Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.

The Red Devils are still yet to decide the future of manager Erik ten Hag, but that uncertainty has stopped them from making plans for the summer transfer window.

United's new-look hierarchy have seemingly identified the backline as an area of need of strengthening following the departure of Raphael Varane and the potential exit of Jonny Evans.

As it stands, the Northern Ireland international will be out of contract at the end of the month, but he is believed to be in talks over signing a new deal.

Even if Evans remains with the club, the Red Devils will still look to recruit a top-quality centre-back to provide competition to the likes of Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez.

Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite in action with Sheffield United's Cameron Archer on May 11, 2024© Reuters

Man United confident of landing Branthwaite

The 20-time English champions have been linked with a number of potential defensive targets, including Everton's Branthwaite.

According to The Mirror, Man United are confident of reaching an agreement to sign the 21-year-old before the end of June.

Branthwaite's omission from England's 26-man squad for Euro 2024 is said to be one of the factors behind Man United's confidence.

The Football Association have blocked clubs from making contact about transfers while players are on England duty, which would have been an issue if Branthwaite was included in Gareth Southgate's final selection.

Man United also believe that Everton's concerns over the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules could help them complete a quick deal for Branthwaite.

The Toffees have until June 30 to meet the rules for 2023-24 and selling one of their prized assets would go some way towards improving their position.

With Branthwaite under contract until the summer of 2027, Everton will only consider parting ways if they receive an offer in the region of £75m.

Jarrad Branthwaite celebrates scoring for Everton on February 3, 2024© Reuters

Man United still considering Branthwaite alternatives

Although they are open to a significant proposal, Everton are still keen to keep hold of the 21-year-old defender after he established himself as an integral part of Sean Dyche's side last season.

Branthwaite featured in 35 of Everton's 38 Premier League matches, helping the Toffees record 13 top-flight clean sheets.

Man United may be optimistic about their chances of securing Braithwaite's signature, but they are still considering other alternative targets in case a transfer fails to come to fruition.

The Red Devils are said to be keeping tabs on Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi, Wolverhampton Wanderers' Max Kilman, Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba and Juventus' Gleison Bremer.

Sporting Lisbon's Goncalo Inacio has been mentioned as a possible option, while they are also admirers of Lille youngster Leny Yoro.

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