United Intend To Use Player As ‘Bait’ To Shave £20M Off Asking Price Of Top Summer Transfer Target

Manchester United will look to offer Harry Maguire as “bait” in order to secure the services of Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite this summer, according to the Daily Star.

Branthwaite is a top target for the Red Devils but his £70m asking price could cause problems, and the club are planning a potential part-exchange offer.

With Maguire’s contract set to expire at the end of next season, the Manchester club won’t be able to set a very high valuation for him.

Even last year, it was reported that United were prepared to sell the England international to West Ham for £30m before he rejected the move.

The Daily Star claim that Erik ten Hag’s side would hope to shave off around £20m from the price to buy Branthwaite by including Maguire in their bid.

There are two reasons why this swap deal is unlikely

It should be pointed out that United are already set to lose Raphael Varane on a free transfer next month so, by giving away Maguire, the club would probably need to recruit two centre-backs in the next transfer window, not just one.

Everton will also be reluctant to accept players in exchange for Branthwaite as they need cash to stay within the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

United could pursue cheaper alternatives to Branthwaite

If £70m does prove too much for the Red Devils, the club may well consider one of the other centre-halves that they have been scouting in recent months.

Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi is known to be on their radar, and the 23-year-old would reportedly cost around £55m. Alternatives such as Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, Benfica’s Antonio Silva, Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba, Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Willian Pacho could also be looked at but many of these targets won’t be available on the cheap either.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.