Man Utd identify Guehi as Branthwaite alternative

    According to Givemesport, Manchester United will focus on signing Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi if they can’t convince Everton into an agreement for Jarrad Branthwaite.

    The Red Devils are likely to sign a new central defender this summer with Raphael Varane set to leave as a free-agent when his contract expires on June 30. Branthwaite is currently the top target to replace the Frenchman, but a deal is difficult at the moment due to the transfer demands of the Toffees.

    Man United are prepared to pay as much as £55 million for the 21-year-old, but Everton could hold out for £80 million. Givemesport claim that the Red Devils could turn their focus to signing Guehi if the Toffees refuse to budge on the price. It is reported that Palace could sell Guehi for around £60 million.

    Premier League experience

    Branthwaite has made huge progress over the past 18 months. He became a regular starter for PSV Eindhoven on loan during the second half of the 2022/23 season before breaking into Sean Dyche’s plans at Everton. The centre-back had a fantastic full season where he impressed with his tackling, clearances, duel winning ability and recoveries.

    It is unsurprising that United want to sign him, but they may not pay over the odds after missing out on Champions League football. With the reduced revenue next season, the club may need to be more cautious with their summer spending to ensure that they don’t breach the Profitability and Sustainability rules which could lead to a points deduction.

    With this in mind, the Red Devils could focus on Guehi if Everton refuse to lower their demands in the coming weeks. The 23-year-old has similar defensive attributes as Branthwaite. He won 60% of his ground and aerial duels last season in the Premier League with an average of 3.5 clearances and 4.8 ball recoveries per outing.

    United will obviously want to negotiate on the final price for the Englishman. If they can secure his signature for £50 million, it could prove a good piece of business. The former Chelsea graduate would be a top-notch signing for United as he is more experienced than Branthwaite with 98 Premier League appearances to his name.

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