Manchester United make improved second bid for Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite

Manchester United has submitted a second bid for Jarrad Branthwaite (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United have submitted an improved second bid for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, according to reports.

United have made signing a new central defender a key target for this transfer window following the departure of Raphael Varane.

Bayern Munich’s Matthijs De Ligt has attracted interest, but the club are also still exploring a move for Branthwaite who narrowly missed out on Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Euro 2024 after an impressive Premier League campaign.

Everton, who value the defender at around £70million, have already rebuffed an initial offer but United have now come back in with an improved second offer.

The figure still seems far removed from Everton’s valuation, though, with the Daily Mail reporting that the new bid totals £45m plus a further £5m in add-ons.

Agreeing personal terms with the 21-year-old is not expected to prove a stumbling block in any potential deal.

Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo and Lille’s 18-year-old centre-back Leny Yoro are also thought to be on the shortlist of potential targets.

Branthwaite narrowly missed out on England’s Euro 2024 squad (Picture: Getty)

Elsewhere, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are targeting a new striker to support Rasmus Hojlund.

Ivan Toney and Jonathan David were linked with the club, but Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee now appears to be the front-runner.

United look set to activate Zirkzee’s €40m (£33.7m) release clause in full pay an additional €15 million (£12.6m) in commission to the player’s representative Kia Joorabchian which stalled an agreement with AC Milan.

The 23-year-old is currently at Euro 2024 with the Netherlands and remained coy when asked about his future by reporters.

Asked if he will still be playing in Italy next season, Zirkzee told Sportitalia: ‘I don’t know, let’s see.’

Pressed if there was a 50 per cent chance that he would stay, Zirkzee replied: ‘Let’s see.’

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