Ratcliffe lines up marquee £80m Man Utd signing to finally solve Ten Hag’s biggest weakness

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ready to splash the cash and make Everton ace Jarrad Branthwaite a marquee Manchester United signing, and a report has detailed a key relationship that can spring the deal.

Ratcliffe will oversee a sweeping squad overhaul at Old Trafford this summer. Few areas of Man Utd’s playing personnel will be spared and arguably the biggest issue that must be addressed is the current side’s inability to keep opposing attacks quiet.

Whether the blame lies in the lack of hard-working forwards, inadequate protection provided by the declining Casemiro, United’s centre-backs or Ten Hag’s instructions is open to debate.

However, what is clear is Man Utd require an upgrade at centre-half and a new long-term partner for Lisandro Martinez next season.

Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are both out of contract this summer and the former has interest from Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere, Harry Maguire is a confirmed transfer target at West Ham.

Ratcliffe has reportedly instructed his underlings to favour signing either British players or stars who at the very least have Premier League experience.

One man who ticks both boxes is Jarrad Branthwaite who earned his maiden call-up to England’s senior team for the friendlies with Brazil and Belgium last month.

The Mirror previously claimed Branthwaite, 21, has been installed as United’s No 1 centre-back target. Per a fresh update from the Sun, Man Utd are prepared to act on their interest.

£80m could be required; Jason Wilcox key

A whopping £80m figure is cited as being required to unlock a deal. Whether United are willing to stretch that far if Everton play hardball remains to be seen.

The Toffees are expected to sell one or perhaps both of Branthwaite and Amadou Onana to help balance their books this summer.

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