Sources: Utd could end Branthwaite talks over fee

Football

Manchester United will walk away from talks for defender Jarrad Branthwaite soon if there is no indication that Everton are willing to compromise over a transfer fee, a source has told ESPN.

United are keen to sign Branthwaite this summer and have already seen a bid of £35 million ($44m) plus £8m ($10m) in add-ons rejected.

Everton value the 21-year-old at more than £70m ($89m) but, according to a source, United are in no rush to make an improved offer unless the Merseyside club show a willingness to negotiate.

Sources have told ESPN that United have informed Everton that they do not have the funds to spend £70m or more on a single player during the summer transfer window.

As well as looking for a centre-back to replace Raphaël Varane, who left Old Trafford on a free transfer at the end of the season, United also want to sign a striker to provide competition for Rasmus Højlund.

Sources have told ESPN that there is interest in Joshua Zirkzee, Ivan Toney and Jonathan David. However, United are wary of spending too much time trying to seal a deal for Branthwaite and are willing to walk away to focus on other targets.

Lille‘s Leny Yoro, Bayern Munich‘s Matthijs de Ligt and Marc Guéhi at Crystal Palace are also of interest to the club.

United have also looked at Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, but the club are under the impression any deal would be blocked by UEFA because of co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s links with the French club.

Ratcliffe’s company INEOS bought Nice in 2019 and in February the British billionaire completed a deal to acquire a 27.7% stake in United.

“They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can’t sell to Manchester United,” Ratcliffe told Bloomberg.

“But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

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