Man Utd must pay 'premium' to sign Jarrad Branthwaite as Sir Jim Ratcliffe given problem

Everton have reportedly slapped a huge price tag on Jarrad Branthwaite (Image: GETTY)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe might be about to create a dilemma for himself if he brings Jarrad Branthwaite to Manchester United this summer. The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a move for Branthwaite, who has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best young defenders since breaking through at Everton.

The 21-year-old was rewarded for his form with a place in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2024 and made his debut against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. However, he was left out of Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man group with Lewis Dunk earning a spot on the plane instead.

Branthwaite’s omission from the England squad will give United the chance to intensify their pursuit of his signature over the coming weeks. However, a successful move could generate a new problem for Ratcliffe as a result of Everton demanding a significant transfer fee.

The Everton defender is thought to be valued at around £75m by the Toffees (Image: GETTY)

The Toffees have slapped a £75million price tag on Branthwaite and will not be bullied into selling him for less, according to the Liverpool Echo. It is said that Everton have put a ‘premium’ on the defender given that he is both English and left-footed, two valuable traits for any Premier League club looking for a new centre-back.

It means that a successful move for Branthwaite would take up the majority of United’s transfer budget, which is already restricted due to Premier League profit and sustainability rules. They would likely need to sell players to avoid risking a breach if Branthwaite joins for the £75m fee Everton want in exchange for his signature.

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United are said to be targeting improvements in a number of positions, with Erik ten Hag thought to be keen on signing a new forward as well as a midfielder. A move for Branthwaite would, therefore, limit United’s options unless some extra money can be raised through player sales.

The Red Devils are reportedly willing to consider offers for the vast majority of their first-team squad, with only a few players having been given untouchable status. Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund are thought to be the only ones United will not cash in on under any circumstances.

United have already confirmed the release of several players, with Anthony Martial the highest-profile name to depart Old Trafford without being offered a new deal. Brandon Williams has also been released while Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton are in talks to extend their contracts.