Manchester United and Chelsea are both reportedly considering a late move for Martin Braithwaite. The Espanyol striker previously joined Barcelona as an emergency striker after a spell in the Premier League with Middlesbrough and is being viewed as a budget option for the English sides.
Spanish outlet Marca claim that both English teams are tempted by the possibility of bolstering their strikeforce with Braithwaite, who could only cost in the region of £510,000.
Braithwaite does have a release clause in his Espanyol contract to the tune of £6million, but discussions are underway so that either United or Chelsea will only have to pay a minimal fee.
The Danish striker remained with second-tier Espanyol to help them return to La Liga, with his contract structured so that he would be able to leave for free if they fail to get promoted. But any suitor would be forced to pay £510,000 should Espanyol be successful and head back to the top flight.
That £510,000 fee would only become available in the summer, but negotiations are being made to find a middle ground between that and his current release clause as more turbulence at Espanyol are ensuring that it is increasingly unlikely that they will be promoted this season and Braithwaite could leave for free in a few months.
Espanyol are currently fifth in LaLiga2 and Braithwaite scored in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat away to Eldense. The 32-year-old has attempted to leave the club previously and now could get his wish, with an eye on featuring for Denmark at Euro 2024.
Erik ten Hag’s outfit are considering signing another striker in January after a groin injury to Anthony Martial ruled him out of action until April, leaving Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford as the only recognised options through the middle.
Meanwhile, Chelsea could let Armando Broja go this month and are eyeing experienced options that can help guide Mauricio Pochettino’s young squad, with Braithwaite eyed as someone who can ease the burden on Nicolas Jackson.
Braithwaite has been in goalscoring form, hitting the back of the net 12 times in 22 league games this season, and could represent a short-term fix for either Chelsea or United.