Manchester United ‘ready’ to make £55m bid for centre-back this summer

Manchester United will be in the market for at least one centre-back this summer as Ineos look to make big changes.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co took control of football operations at United and their impact was already clear.

Jason Wilcox has already started work as United’s new technical director, with Omar Berrada coming in as CEO this summer.

Dan Ashworth – Newcastle United’s sporting director – shouldn’t be far behind after being targeted by Ineos.

Ratcliffe and co are looking for some way to improve United’s fortunes and it’s fair to say that boss Erik ten Hag is not safe.

United’s players are no doubt feeling the pressure too, and if any area of ​​the squad is going to change, it could be the heart of the defence.

Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton cheers the fans at the final whistle of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Traffo...
Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Manchester United want Jarrad Branthwaite

Harry Maguire saved his United career in style, but it is unclear what the future holds for many of United’s centre-backs.

Raphael Varane has already confirmed his departure, while Jonny Evans is out of contract this summer.

Victor Lindelof’s future is unclear and Lisandro Martinez has been injured after struggling this season.

That leaves United needing to bring in fresh faces at the back, with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite continuing to be heavily linked.

The Daily Mail now claim that United are ‘ready’ to offer £55million to sign Branthwaite this summer.

Everton do not want to lose their centre-back, but with their takeover stalling, Branthwaite may have to be sold to raise funds.

The Toffees want £80m for Branthwaite but United look set to test their resolve by putting £55m on the table.

Whether the Toffees can be forced to sell is another matter, especially at £25m less than the asking price, but Ineos are very keen.

Branthwaite fits exactly what Ineos want in terms of getting young and homegrown players.

The Branthwaite investment presents the conundrum of Lisandro Martinez

The 21-year-old is a top talent and could be part of United’s squad for a long, long time.

This would be an interesting investment, however, given the presence of Martinez.

The Argentine is a high-quality defender when fit and available, but has managed just seven Premier League starts this season.

That left United in need of another left-handed centre-back, but spending £55m – or more – on one is interesting.

We don’t often see two left-footed centre-backs together, while nobody really bats an eye at two right-footed ones together.

Perhaps United believe Branthwaite and Martinez can be a partnership, but there is a real prospect of one of them being left out.

United certainly needed another option to help deal with Martinez’s injury, but spending so much on another left-footer is certainly interesting for the future of United’s backline.

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