Man Utd believe ‘close relationship’ can seal move for priority summer target | Football

Ratcliffe and his staff will oversee a huge summer transfer window (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United are confident the arrival of Jason Wilcox as their new technical director will hand them a huge advantage in the race to sign Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite.

The 21-year-old centre-half has enjoyed a superb campaign at Goodison Park and is thought to lead a shortlist of defenders under consideration at Old Trafford.

Branthwaite will be among United’s priority targets with their backline ravaged by injury this season with the futures of a number of their defensive options in doubt.

Everton are likely to demand a fee in the excess of £75million for the England Under-21 international but United hope to drive that price down to around £50m.

The Manchester club also hope the presence of Wilcox can also boost their chances of getting a deal done.

United intent to make the former winger their new technical director and are confident of agreeing a compensation package with Southampton, where he has served as football director, in the coming days.

Wilcox would work alongside Dan Ashworth, with United planning to bring him in as sporting director.

Manchester United want to sign Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite.

Branthwaite is as top summer target for United (Picture: Getty)

The Sun report Wilcox has a close working relationship with Branthwaite’s agent David Reeves with United believing that will ensure they lead the race to sign the defender.

There could be significant changes to United’s defence this summer with Raphael Varane tipped to leave. The World Cup winner has endured another injury-hit campaign with Saudi Pro League sides interested in signing him this summer.

His regular partner Lisandro Martinez has been limited to just 11 appearances this season with Harry Maguire often stepping in.

The England star was chased by West Ham United last summer with ten Hag recently admitting his former captain wants to play more, opening the door for a possible move away this summer.

Jonny Evans has proven to be an able deputy when called upon this season but at 36, is not a long-term solution.


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