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Man Utd identify Edmond Tapsoba as alternative to Everton ace Jarrad 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 as they look to replace Raphael Varane whose contract expires at the end of June.

Despite being left-footed, Branthwaite has been highlighted as the top target, but Manchester Evening News claim that United won’t be held to ransom by the Toffees.

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

United are likewise 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 the same was conveyed by manager Erik ten Hag during the back end of last season.

Hence, 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.

Regardless of this, the new hierarchy are right with their stance on Branthwaite’s valuation. They have been guilty in the past of overpaying for players with clubs taking advantage.

In our view, 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 under manager Ruud van Nisterooy.

Hence, there is a risk attached with his signing. 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 vastly experienced than Branthwaite at 25 and has better passing attributes.

Branthwaite fared well for Everton when it came to defensive contributions last term, but he had a passing accuracy of only 80 percent, much less than Tapsoba (91 percent) at Leverkusen.

Stats from