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Man Utd paying ultimate price in Jarred Branthwaite transfer saga is a message to Premier League

Manchester United have had a second bid rejected for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite
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Everton is remaining firm on its pricing for Manchester United transfer target, Jarrad Branthwaite, drawing comparisons to Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana.

The Everton center-back has been identified as a key acquisition by the Red Devils' talent scouts, with negotiations between the two Premier League rivals continuing. Despite this, a starting offer of $44.8 million plus additional payments was rejected by Everton.

Attempts were made to increase the bid to $57.4 million alongside $6.4 million of extras. However, the Toffees have also rebuffed this deal, purportedly holding out for an approximate sum of $89.5 million. This hefty price tag is traced back to the Blue's Premier League competitor, Chelsea.

Everton has established this price tag based on exactly such a deal. Chelsea brokered a $89.5 million major deal with Leicester in 2022, however, it has not unfolded as anticipated. Facing recurring injuries, the Frenchman struggled, logging merely 20 matches in all formats across two seasons.

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He was conspicuously absent in the previous season, prompting Chelsea to seek fresh defensive options resulting in signings like Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi and Tosin Adarabioyo following Fofana's arrival. The next move lies with United, whether to revise their bid for Branthwaite. On this matter, Sean Dyche confirmed earlier this year that Everton had no intention of selling.

"We don't want to sell any good players," stated the Blues' coach. "It's as simple as that and he's [Branthwaite] proven to be a very good player. We're not in the business of trying to sell players

"You only sell players if you have to sell players or there's a problem. There's no problem, therefore I'm just hoping we don't need to sell players. At the minute, we certainly don't so we will see."

Branthwaite might not be the only defender that United chooses to sign this summer either. They have also identified Bayern Munich and Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt as a potential recruit.

Ten Hag has already been in touch with the Dutchman to discuss his role in the side. He suggested his compatriot would immediately form a partnership with Lisandro Martinez in the heart of their defense.

Should both Branthwaite and De Ligt arrive at Old Trafford, that could see former captain Harry Maguire moved on. New sporting director Dan Ashworth has no intention of letting him go for nothing next summer so a sale in this window looks more likely.

Liverpool.com says: Everton has every right to demand such a price for Branthwaite, citing previous transfer fees. Liverpool will do well to learn from this and not get caught in a similar storm when bolstering its defense this summer. Sometimes the price is worth paying - as it was with Virgil van Dijk - but for raw, unproven players it is very much a risk.