Man United's Jarrad Branthwaite message as £20m transfer announcement confirmed

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite
-Credit: (Image: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Manchester United's bid to bring Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite to Old Trafford is threatening to become the all-consuming saga of the window.

While we are not at the Frenkie de Jong levels of confusion and frustration, United are staring down the barrel of having to pull out of a deal. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has entered the transfer window with a clear plan to end the 'United Tax'.

It is a noble approach to make this summer considering the Reds have for too long been hamstrung in windows with signing players for extornite amounts. What this has done has created a squad which has underperformed and created financial burdens.

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However, the aim and the result are two very separate objectives. The Toffees have insisted that only a bid of £70m will be good enough to allow them to part ways with Branthwaite and United have already seen a bid for half that amount laughed off.

Everton's resolve has now just been hardened further after they managed to sell centre-back Ben Godfrey to Atalanta for £20m. This deal should have alleviated any lingering concerns of another points deduction next season for breaching Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) and allows Sean Dyche's side to dig their heels in further.

This Godfrey deal now sends a clear message to United - pay the asking price or move on. It seems highly unlikely, unless Branthwaite pushes for an exit, that Everton will come down to the Reds' valuation of the defender and they have no reason to do that.

Ultiimately, Ratcliffe and Ineos' next move will prove how hell-bent they are to sticking to their responsible spending principles. But the reality is that United may need to accept that Branthwaite is out of their reach this summer.