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Man United identify Jarrad Branthwaite alternative who matches Sir Jim Ratcliffe demand



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Manchester United are in the market for a centre-back ahead of the summer transfer window, but Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite could be too expensive.

Ratcliffe, 71, has begun a major overhaul at Old Trafford behind the scenes following the confirmation of his stake in United.

Soon, the British billionaire and the INEOS team will be fully turning their attention to potential deals to be made in the summer – with there already being some legwork done ahead of the end of season window.

One position in particular that needs addressing is the centre of defence. The futures of Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelöf and Jony Evans are all uncertain, while Lisandro Martínez’s injury troubles will also be a factor to consider.

It was revealed by UtdDistrict earlier this month that Branthwaite of Everton was considered the favoured option for this role at Old Trafford. However, it was added that there are internal doubts over whether a deal could be made with a high potential price tag for the 21-year-old.

Branthwaite’s recent call-up to the England side and possible involvement in the Euro 2024 squad will only heighten the numbers in Everton’s mind.

Now, a report from The Mirror has stated that Gleison Bremer of Juventus is an option that United are prepared to ‘firm up’ interest in ahead of the summer window.

The report added that the Brazilian defender is rumoured to have received the green light from prospective sporting director Dan Ashworth – although that was not confirmed by the report itself.

Yet, the £43 million release clause in Bremer’s contract at Juventus could play a part in Ratcliffe, INEOS and Ashworth supporting a potential deal.

Ratcliffe has recently explained how the club have attempted the big-money approach to signings in recent years and he wants to instead focus on getting the best people in for their respective roles.

“They have done that,” he told the ­Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast about the spending at Old Trafford. “If you look at the last 10 years, they have spent a lot of money on a couple of great ­players.

“The first thing we need to do is get the right people in the right boxes who are managing and ­organising the club. And make sure we get recruitment right, it is such a vital part of football today.”

Bremer appears to tick the boxes of the man that Ratcliffe is going to entrust leading the recruitment project, and would also cost an amount that is “unlikely to be viewed as excessive” at Old Trafford, according to the aforementioned report.

The Juventus defender has played 29 games for the Italian outfit this season, missing only two games.