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Man United change their mind on summer transfer following INEOS stumbling block



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One key area that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Manchester United want to improve in the summer is centre-back. Jarrad Branthwaite was reported to be the top target; however, this is no longer the case.

One of the main issues for Erik ten Hag this season has been at central defence. Injuries to Lisandro Martínez, an inconsistent run of games and uncertain futures for Raphaël Varane and Harry Maguire have all contributed to United’s backline being one of the weakest in the Premier League.

Per 90 The Reds concede the most shots in the league and a lack of depth in defence has led to a mix of youth, the likes of Willy Kambwala, and senior veterans, Jonny Evans, playing more minutes then perhaps they expected.

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This has led Sir Jim Ratcliffe to make the defence a position of priority in the summer transfer window, his first in charge of the sporting control as the new minority owner, with the club already being linked to many big names.

The two players that have been in regular headlines about a move to Old Trafford have been Juventus’ Gleison Bremer, the Brazilian has a release clause of around £40 million, and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

The 21-year-old Englishman has had a breakout year for the Blues of Merseyside and has provided glimmers of joy for the Toffees in a season that has been derailed by Financial Fair Play violations.

UtdDistrict reported in March that Branthwaite was at the top of the list of defensive targets. However, according to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, the young defender has fallen in the club’s estimations since then.

One of the main reasons behind this seems to be the rumoured £79 million price tag that Everton has attached to his signature. Under the stewardship of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS’ United are more likely to look for cheaper alternatives like the aforementioned Bremer.

Branthwaite was on the receiving end of a 6-0 thrashing against Chelsea on Monday and was humiliated by boyhood United fan Cole Palmer who nutmegged and left his compatriot on the floor in the lead-up to the London side’s first goal.

United will surely take note of this, and perhaps this performance lead them to reconsider their stance on the defender. However, the main deterrent does seem to be the audacious transfer fee.