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Everton using Harry Maguire precedent in 'world-record' Jarrad Branthwaite valuation

World-record fee: Man United 'learn substantial Everton demands for Branthwaite'
© Reuters
Everton reportedly tell Manchester United that they will not allow Jarrad Branthwaite to leave Goodison Park this summer for under £80m.

Everton have reportedly made it clear to Manchester United that they will not allow Jarrad Branthwaite to leave Goodison Park this summer unless a world-record fee is submitted.

The Red Devils have allegedly agreed personal terms with Branthwaite over a proposed switch to Old Trafford, with the transfer window officially opening on Friday.

However, according to BBC Sport, the two clubs are still some way apart in terms of their valuation, with Everton wanting at least £80m for the Englishman.

The report claims that the Toffees believe that Branthwaite deserves to be placed in the same bracket as Harry Maguire, who cost Man United £80m when he arrived from Leicester City in 2019.

Maguire's switch remains a world-record fee for a defender, and it is understood that Everton want slightly more than that figure in order to allow Branthwaite to leave Goodison Park.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Everton 'want world-record fee for Branthwaite'

Everton also allegedly feel that Josko Gvardiol's £77m switch from RB Leipzig to Manchester City last summer strengthens their case.

The 21-year-old had a successful loan spell at PSV Eindhoven during the 2022-23 campaign, representing the Dutch giants on 36 occasions in all competitions, before heading back to the Toffees.

An impressive 2023-24 season saw Branthwaite make 41 appearances for Sean Dyche's side, including 35 outings in the Premier League, and he proved to be one of the Merseyside outfit's best players last term.

Man United are believed to have identified Branthwaite as their leading centre-back target, with the club bidding to bring in a replacement for Raphael Varane, who is leaving on a free transfer at the end of the month.

However, a recent report claimed that the club's minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe was not prepared to meet Everton's substantial asking price for the ex-Carlisle United youngster.

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

Where do Man United go from here?

A new centre-back is a priority for Man United this summer, while the club are also looking to bring in a central midfielder and a centre-forward to boost their squad for next season.

There is money to spend, allegedly up to £140m, depending on player sales, but it would be a huge risk to pay out such a substantial fee for Branthwaite.

In an ideal world, the Red Devils would be looking to get a deal done for a fee in the region of £50m, but it is highly unlikely that Everton will agree to a move at that price.

The Toffees have the defender on a contract until June 2027, but the club's financial situation means that turning down a sizeable offer this summer would be difficult.

Man United should not rush a move for Branthwaite and instead hold firm, and with careful negotiations, the club should be able to bring his price down to a much more realistic figure.

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Manchester United co owner Jim Ratcliffe is seen in the stands before the match on January 14, 2024
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