Manchester United make initial £45m offer for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite

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Manchester United have made an initial offer to Everton for Jarrad Branthwaite, worth £45m including add-ons, in what is the club’s first move of the summer transfer window.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who controls United’s football policy, approved the offer, which is for a basic £35m plus £10m in clauses. Everton are expected to reject the bid given they value the 21-year-old centre-back closer to £60m-70m.

However, Everton face financial challenges and Sean Dyche, the manager, has conceded they may have to listen to offers for players. Branthwaite is their most saleable asset, though it is thought the profitability and sustainability rules that Everton previously contravened may not be a factor in this, providing the club with a firmer bargaining position.

Branthwaite impressed for Everton during what was another difficult campaign for the Merseysiders. He was also a member of Gareth Southgate’s 33-man England training group for the European Championship but was dropped for the final 26-player squad.

Erik ten Hag – who kept his job as United manager this week – was forced to field 15 combinations in central defence last season, with his first-choice centre-back, Lisandro Martínez, suffering an injury-disrupted campaign. Branthwaite, who is left-footed, is seen by Ten Hag as being an upgrade in that position, as well as being someone who can provide another option there, with Raphaël Varane having recently left Old Trafford.

With Dan Ashworth yet to start as United’s sporting director – he remains on gardening leave – Jason Wilcox, the technical director, is leading the club’s summer business.


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