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Man Utd transfer news: Jarrad Branthwaite passes Old Trafford audition

Jarrad Branthwaite Bruno Fernandes Manchester United Everton
© IMAGO

Manchester United fans were left in awe after transfer target Jarrad Branthwaite’s Old Trafford debut on Saturday.

The 21-year-old centre back has been a shining light for Everton throughout a regrettable season overall and he continued his strong individual form in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United.

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Frst-half penalties from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were enough for the hosts to ease to victory but Erik ten Hag’s side found Branthwaite a tough opponent throughout the encounter.

READ MORE: Onana sparks crazy transfer rumour after buying house 1000 miles from Manchester

He passed the ball well, short and long, and demonstrated his pace during the game, leaving observers purring and making demands that their club sign him up this summer.

“Very impressed with Jarrad Branthwaite today, I have been all season,” one fan wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“Physical specimen with very good technical ability. Composed on the ball, brave defending in the box & in a high line.

“Left sided but comfortable with both feet. Hope we see more of him at Old Trafford!”

It’s no secret that Branthwaite has got admirers inside Old Trafford with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS organisation setting about revolutionising football operations at the club.

The club are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements in the next transfer window and Branthwaite would appear to fit the bill perfectly.

Physically imposing, strong, quick across the ground and possessed of confidence with the ball at his feet, he looks like he could settle strongly into life at Man Utd.

“Branthwaite should be nailed on in the summer if a deal can be structured properly, what a player,” another fan said.

“Get that defensive line raised, get that aerial presence increased, get an elite duel winner in large spaces & box defending. Don’t let his ability in possession be undersold either.

“Maintain that high line, no dropping it to the penalty spot at the first sign of danger. Sick to death of that.”

Jarrad Branthwaite
© IMAGO – Jarrad Branthwaite

The central defensive area is set for a shakeup this summer with Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans out of contract and question marks hanging over the heads of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.

Should that quartet all depart, Erik ten Hag, or his successor, will be down to one senior centre back in Lisandro Martinez but the Argentina international struggles to stay fit. A bid for Branthwaite could cure United of some of their defensive ills.

Dyche claims no pressure to sell Everton stars

Although Everton manager Sean Dyche claimed on Friday that Everton are under no pressure to sell their emerging star, a hefty bid might be tough to resist for the hard-up Toffees.

“We don’t want to sell any good players,” Dyche said. “It’s as simple as that and he’s proven to be a very good player. We’re not in the business of trying to sell players.

“You only sell players if you have to sell players or there’s a problem. There’s no problem, therefore I’m just hoping we don’t need to sell players. At the minute, we certainly don’t so we will see.”

Hard-up Everton’s struggles laid bare

Having already been hit with a profit and sustainability rules breach, costing them an initial 10 points which was reduced to six on appeal, Everton are currently awaiting the verdict of another set of charges.

If they are relegated to the Championship then holding onto their biggest names, led by Branthwaite, looks a tough ask.

Even if Everton stay up, they could be looking at getting rid of some of their more bankable assets, including another reported United target in Amadou Onana.

Branthwaite has been attracting admiring glances from Real Madrid and Tottenham in recent months and has one eye on making Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad for Euro 2024.

Bargain Branthwaite

He was signed from Carlisle in January 2020 for a fee of around £1 million and his origin club are reportedly due 10 percent of any transfer proceeds from his next sale.

The defender spent the 2022-23 season on loan at PSV in the Eredivisie, earning rave reviews, before slotting into Dyche’s defence last August.

His current contract extends to June 2027, having been renewed in October following his breakthrough to the first team.

On this form, United will have him, with fans taking to social media to hail the impact of his performance for an otherwise poor Everton side.

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