Newcastle United could hand Manchester United fresh transfer blow in Jarrad Branthwaite pursuit

Manchester United's hopes of using Everton's desire to raise funds before the June 30 cut-off for the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules to strike a deal for Jarrad Branthwaite could be dealt a further blow.

The Toffees have twice been docked points for breaching the PSR rules and the latest accounting deadline for financial results comes a week on Sunday, with Everton keen to strengthen their position ahead of that date.

A week ago that could have given United a stronger hand to play in negotiations over Branthwaite, having seen an initial £43m bid, which included £8m of add-ons, turned down by Everton. But Lewis Dobbin is set to head to Aston Villa and Newcastle's decision to reignite their interest in Dominic Calvert-Lewin could lessen the need to sell Branthwaite.

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Sources on Merseyside suggested Dobbin's move to Villa Park would bring Everton close to falling within their PSR limits, or at least close enough to present mitigation to the Premier League. If Calvert-Lewin completes a switch to St James' Park before next Sunday then it could see them fall inside the loss limit and avoid a charge next season.

Newcastle have a long-standing interest in Calvert-Lewin and the 27-year-old is reported to be valued at around £35m by Everton, despite a return of just 15 goals in 79 appearances across his last three seasons.

If Dobbin and Calvert-Lewin depart Goodison Park this week then it will mean Everton can continue to drive a hard bargain for Branthwaite, who is their most expensive asset. They have slapped a £70m price tag on him and United have no intention of meeting it.

Having seen their first bid rejected, United are now holding back on making another offer until they get an indication that Everton are willing to compromise. With their PSR concerns beginning to fade into the distance, that might now be even more unlikely.

Branthwaite is United's top target this summer as they seek to reinforce central defence but they have alternative options and will move on from the Everton centre-back if they get the impression a deal can't be struck.