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Man United have been told what they wanted to hear about €100m Everton star to complete summer deal



Man United have been told what they wanted to hear about €100m Everton star to complete summer deal

Man United are monitoring Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

When Jarrad Branthwaite returned from his season-long loan spell at PSV Eindhoven last year, he probably didn’t think he would be generating interest from Manchester United and being linked with Real Madrid the following season.

The Everton centre-back has enjoyed a sharp rise this season, establishing himself as one of the best young defenders in the Premier League.

The Manchester United are monitoring him ahead of the summer transfer window amid plans to strengthen their defensive options.

A lot of uncertainty currently surrounds the centre-back department in M16, with only Lisandro Martinez, in the eyes of many, guaranteed a place in the club’s long-term plans.

Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are both out of contract this summer and it is possible that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof could both be sold.

Should Varane’s contract not be renewed, United will almost certainly have to target the addition of a star-studded right-sided centre-back.

They have been linked with a cluster of names in addition to Branthwaite, such as Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo and more recently Jules Kounde of Barcelona.

Unlike Todibo and Kounde, Branthwaite is left-footed, meaning United’s pursuit of him could prompt questions about their decision to chase a left-footed centre-back when Martinez is already their left-sided central defender-in-chief.

The Argentinian is key to United’s style of play, helping them progress the ball from deep, meaning he is assured of keeping his spot in Erik ten Hag’s first-choice starting line-up when fit.

Branthwaite, however, is capable of playing on the right side of a centre-back partnership, though he has played on the left alongside James Tarkowski for Everton this term.

The 21-year-old, who joined the Toffees from Carlisle United in 2020, suggested earlier this season he would be comfortable playing on the right, such is the quality of his weaker foot.

He told Everton’s club website: “I am left-footed, but I’ve got a five-star weak foot on the new FIFA! If I’m hitting a long pass, I’ll go with my left; short passes with my right.”

Branthwaite’s ability to progress the ball, though Everton are not a heavy possession-based team, has shone through at certain junctures this season, just as it did during his time on loan at PSV in 2022/23.

During his stint at the Dutch giants, Branthwaite’s development was overseen by former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was head coach for almost all of last season. The Dutchman described him as a ‘two-footed’ player, suggesting he could operate either on the right or the left.

Van Nistelrooy said: “He is a great talent. The boy is young, but he has a future.

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