'Bidding war' predicted for £100 million Man Utd summer target

Manchester United are looking to bolster their defensive options this summer.

Manchester United could be in for a very busy and exciting summer transfer window based on the latest reports linking them to new signings and current player sales.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has now received the green light from the Premier League and Football Association to go ahead with his 25 percent investment in the club. The British billionaire is expecting to complete his minority takeover by the end of February and there have been talks of his plans to lead an overhaul of the current United squad.

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Erik ten Hag's defence has been the main topic of conversation lately, with Raphaël Varane, Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelöf all expected to move at the end of the season. Harry Maguire's future also remains uncertain following heavy exit links last summer.

One of the main targets on United's radar right now is Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite, who is turning more than the heads at Old Trafford. The Red Devils and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly 'pushing more than most' to sign the centre-back this summer but Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have also been linked.

Everton are naturally firm on keeping Branthwaite and i News recently reported that they are looking for a mammoth £100 million before even considering a sale. However, the Toffees' risk of relegation could put the 21-year-old's fate out of their hands and Ben Jacobs believes a 'bidding war' is on the horizon.

"I think that there is going to be a bidding war, in many ways, during the summer," he told GiveMeSport. "I think Tottenham will be there, and we know that Real Madrid have looked in the past as well.

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"It is true that bringing in at least one young centre-back is on Manchester United's positional radar. Homegrown players are also a key focus, so Branthwaite ticks a lot of boxes, especially with him being a left-sided centre-back."

Branthwaite is currently under contract with Everton until 2027. He spent last season on loan with PSV but has returned as a key player under Sean Dyche and has started all but three Premier League matches so far this season.

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