According to reports from TEAMtalk, Manchester United has set its sights on Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton as a key defensive reinforcement.
The club is gearing up for a major restructuring of its defense starting in 2024, with preparations reportedly already in motion.
While United has shown interest in Jean-Clair Todibo from Nice, along with Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Inacio and Antonio Silva from Benfica, sources close to the club suggest that Branthwaite has significantly piqued their interest.
These plans, however, might evolve as structural changes within Manchester United’s hierarchy unfold approaching the new year.
21-year-old Branthwaite has also garnered attention from Tottenham Hotspur, who are in the market for defensive additions.
His ability to adapt to various positions in the defense, coupled with his astute decision-making and positioning, are traits that have caught the eye of scouts from both clubs.
Manchester United’s interest in Branthwaite was further heightened following his loan period at PSV Eindhoven.
The club sought insights on the young defender from Ruud van Nistelrooy, under whom Branthwaite played at PSV, and received highly positive feedback.
While a move for Branthwaite is unlikely in the January transfer window, he fits into the long-term strategy that Manchester United is envisioning for the summer and beyond.
In related news, the acquisition of Manchester United by Ineos is reportedly on track despite some delays, with no major hitches expected in finalising the deal.
The upcoming winter transfer window is expected to be relatively quiet for United in terms of major signings, with substantial activity being deferred to the summer.
This period will mark the beginning of a substantial squad overhaul. Players like Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho are likely to be on the list of departures to facilitate this transformation.
January, however, might still see some activity with United looking for cost-effective or essential deals to bolster the team for the remainder of the season.