Man Utd 'reach Jarrad Branthwaite agreement' in step towards £70m transfer

Jarrad Branthwaite could leave Everton this summer (Image: Getty)

Manchester United have reportedly taken a major step forward in their pursuit of Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite.

After deciding that they will keep the faith in Erik ten Hag rather than rolling the dice on a new manager, the Red Devils have now turned their attention to shaking up their ranks this summer.

United are expected to bolster their ranks at both ends of the pitch, with signing a striker to provide cover for Rasmus Hojlund among their priorities.

Ten Hag is also keen to sign at least one centre-back this summer, with Everton star Branthwaite identified as a top target this summer – though he has admirers elsewhere in the Premier League.

United appear to have stolen a march on their competition though, with The Times reporting that they have agreed on personal terms with the England international’s entourage.

The Red Devils are yet to reach an agreement with Everton over a deal for the 21-year-old, though the Toffees are expected to demand a fee in the region of £70million to part ways with the starlet.

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Erik ten Hag is keen to sign at least one central defender this summer (Image: Getty)

The negotiations are viewed as a ‘significant step forward’ by United, who are said to have agreed to pay Branthwaite a weekly wage between £150,000 and £160,000.

Ten Hag is said to have identified his lack of defensive options throughout last season as one of the fundamental issues in his side’s problem-ridden campaign, and thus he feels that securing the signature of Branthwaite is a major step in the right direction being made by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co.

Real Madrid are leading the race to sign Leny Yoro (Image: Getty)

Lille’s Leny Yoro has also been shortlisted as another potential addition to United’s option across the backline, though there is an awareness that their pursuit of the Frenchman largely rests in the hands of Real Madrid – who are leading the race to sign the centre-back.

Liverpool are also interested in the 18-year-old and a fee in the region of £50m is expected to be enough to strike a deal with Lille.

Talks are also ongoing with veteran defender Jonny Evans over a new contract. The Northern Ireland international initially returned to United on a short-term deal but was rewarded with a one-year contract, which is set to expire this month. The 36-year-old led by example in his 23 league appearances last season, despite being in the twilight of his career.