Man Utd 'targeting' alternative to Everton defender despite '£45m' claim made for summer move

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Everton transfer news: The Everton defender is set to be in high demand this summer after his sharp rise.

Interest in Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite could see the club be forced to sell in the summer but Manchester United are preparing alternative targets just in case a deal falls through.

Branthwaite's sharp ascent from unknown quantity to rising star was perfectly encapsulated last week as he joined up with the senior England squad for the first time. He has regularly performed to a high level this season despite his previous limited experience at the top level.

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Everton tied him down to a new deal earlier this season after his performances showed signs of such quality and his deal sees him contracted until 2027. However, the 21-year-old has been the fixation of interest from United, who are looking to bolster their defensive backline after a difficult few years. With Everton also experiencing financial issues, Branthwaite looks like a safe bet to raise sizeable funds quickly in the summer but there is no guarantee the club will be so eager to part ways with the talented star.

As a result, United are looking to Juventus' Bremer as an alternative, according to the Daily Mirror. A £43m release clause is said to be in his contract and it could a cheaper and easier deal to conduct as Erik Ten Hag looks to strengthen at the back. The Daily Mail have also reported Manchester City's interest as well, as well as a figure of around £60m.

However, TalkSPORT's Jeff Stelling believes that a lower fee would still be enough to secure the signing, and he has backed a move to Old Trafford for the centre-back. "It’s going to happen, Everton need the money and their biggest asset, their most sellable asset, is 21-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite," Stelling said on talkSPORT.

"I think he will find himself at Old Trafford. Never mind Man City, it’ll be Old Trafford I imagine. With the likes of Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, all ageing players, they need to bring in some youth and I’m thinking £45 million, something like that, would do the job."

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