With a third bid, Man United can secure a £40 million “discount” on Jarrad Branthwaite’s ideal transfer.

Man United could be handed a discount on the deal to sign Jarrad Branthwaite (Image: Alex Dodd)

Manchester United continue to hit the stumbling block that is Everton and their reluctance to let their star defender leave this summer. United have seen two separate bids turned down so far and a third one is expected to follow.

An opening bid of £43million was turned down in June before the latest proposal received the same outcome. An offer of £45m plus £5m in add-ons was deemed short of their valuation, which the Manchester Evening News reported was between £70m and £80m.

Previous deals that saw Harry Maguire (£80m), Wesley Fofana (£75m) and Josko Gvardiol (£77.6m) seal moves has altered Everton’s thinking and it’s thought they have justified their valuation of Branthwaite.

United are keeping all tabs open in their hunt to improve Erik ten Hag’s backline. Maathijs de Ligt has verbally agreed personal terms with the Reds and a bid from Lille was accepted for Leny Yoro in the last 24 hours.

Three centre-backs could be brought to Old Trafford as part of the drastic overhaul. Raphael Varane left the club at the expiry of his contract and Jonny Evans is yet to sign an extension. However, there could be further business involving United’s current centre-backs that could aid their pursuit of Branthwaite.

Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire have both been linked with transfers away from the club. Lindelof seemed certain to secure a move to Fenerbahce while Maguire is now in the final 12 months of his deal. Should Everton accept losing Branthwaite, there’s the possibility that they could turn to one of Maguire and Lindelof.

Maguire’s wages may prove to be a problem but Lindelof, who has an estimated value of €15m (£12.6m) by transfermarkt, would fit the bill at Goodison Park. Furthermore, there is also scope to see why they could be tempted in signing Scott McTominay. The midfielder is currently the subject of a transfer battle by a number of Premier League clubs amid intense uncertainty over his future.

McTominay, whose market value sits at €27m (£22.8m), is one of the players who could leave as part of new sporting director Dan Ashworth’s mission to improve all areas of the squad. Players like Manuel Ugarte, Joao Neves and Amadou Onana are all reportedly on their radar to bolster Ten Hag’s midfield.

If Everton decided to move for Lindelof or McTominay, it could see United receive a net spend discount of around €47m (£39.7m) on a move to sign Branthwaite. It remains to be seen if that will happen, but it could give Ratcliffe the wiggle room needed to make the necessary reinforcements.