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Man Utd will target Tapsoba if they don’t sign Branthwaite

Man Utd will target Tapsoba if they don’t sign Branthwaite
Man Utd will target Tapsoba if they don’t sign Branthwaite

Manchester United have identified Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba as an alternative if they are unable to sign Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite this summer.

The Red Devils are eyeing a new central defender in the upcoming transfer window to replace Raphael Varane whose contract expires at the end of June.

Branthwaite has been highlighted as the top target, but the Manchester Evening News claims United won’t be held to ransom by the Toffees.

The Merseyside outfit want between £70-£80 million for the 21-year-old before June 30 as they seek to comply with Profitability and Sustainability (PSR) rules.

United are also in a delicate position with PSR and are reluctant to pay over the odds for him. Leverkusen’s Tapsoba is one of the alternatives on the club’s radar.

Red Devils likely to spend with more caution this summer

The club did not have any financial leeway to sign a new centre-forward in January, and manager Erik ten Hag conveyed the same message at the end of the season.

It is highly unlikely that the Red Devils will make a huge outlay on any player before June 30. They could focus on player sales before the financial year closes this month.

Despite this, the new hierarchy are right to query Branthwaite’s valuation. They have been guilty in the past of overpaying for players with clubs taking advantage.

The Red Devils should not offer more than £50m for Branthwaite. He is still relatively inexperienced, having completed just one full season in the Premier League.

Branthwaite is capable of playing in the right centre-back role despite being left-footed, but he only did so during a short loan period at PSV Eindhoven under manager Ruud van Nisterooy.

If the Toffees are reluctant to lower their demands, United could turn their focus to Tapsoba, who is a right-footed central defender.

The Burkina Faso international can comfortably play in both central defensive positions. The Bundesliga winner is more experienced than Branthwaite and has better passing attributes.

Branthwaite fared well for Everton with his defensive contributions last term, but he had a passing accuracy of only 80 percent – much less than Tapsoba’s 91 percent at Leverkusen.

Stats from Sofascore.com.