Sunday, May 26, 2024

Who are the summer targets that could be at the heart of Manchester United’s defensive rebuild?

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Hit with an infamous 4-0 drumming away at Crystal Palace on Monday night, Manchester United find themselves at the heart of a public Premier League nightmare.

With it now appearing increasingly likely that Erik ten Hag will be removed from his position in the Old Trafford dugout at the end of the season, United have a major rebuild on their hands during the summer transfer window.

Now facing a real uphill battle in their bid to book a top-six finish over the final fortnight, the Premier League giants have continued to gain a reputation for their glaring defensive issues.

With the likes of former Real Madrid ace Raphael Varane set to leave the red half of Manchester on a free transfer this summer, we have taken a look at some of the defensive stars that could be at the heart of United’s rebuild.

Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton

Enjoying what has been a stunning recent Premier League purple patch and skyrocketing themselves away from another looming relegation scrap, Everton find the mood in their camp at a season-high.

However, while the Toffees might have secured their top-flight status for another year, it is no secret that Sean Dyche’s side are dealing with a string of public financial issues behind the scenes at Goodison Park.

Hit with two separate points deductions this season, it has been suggested over the past week that further sanctions could be hanging over their head.

Expected to part ways with some of their most valued assets in an attempt to balance the books, defensive talisman Jarrad Branthwaite has enjoyed a standout campaign and is attracting plenty of heavyweight interest.

Rewarded with a senior call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad during March’s international break, Everton’s academy graduate appears to be high on Manchester United’s summer wishlist.

While many fans around Goodison Park would be heartbroken to see Branthwaite leave this summer, Dyche’s men would be unable to reject a bid in the region of £70million.

Denzel Dumfries – Inter Milan

With Inter Milan making real domestic history this season as they cruised their way to a 20th Serie A crown, the Italian icons have gained a reputation for their rugged defensive performances.

Conceding just 19 goals in their 35 Serie A appearances this year, Dutch international Denzel Dumfries has only further cemented his spot as one of Europe’s standout full-backs.

However, although the 28-year-old might have produced seven direct goal contributions this season, Dumfries remains at the centre of a real standoff behind the scenes in Milan and it appears that former PSV star could be heading for the San Siro exit.

With neither party making any progress on agreeing new terms, Dumfries’ current deal with the Italian champions is set to enter the final 12 months and Inter are reportedly keen on cashing in this summer.

Previously linked with a move to Manchester United, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has suggested that the 52-cap international has plenty of admirers around Old Trafford and a summer move could be on the cards.

Gleison Bremer – Juventus

Although Juventus might have cruised their way to a lucrative Champions League return this season, the Old Lady have been dealing with some well-publicised financial issues behind the scenes in Turin.

While Gleison Bremer might have only arrived at Juventus in the summer 2022 for a fee of £34.8million, the Brazil international is regarded as one of Europe’s standout defensive stars this season.

Notching a third Serie A goal of the season last weekend as Juventus snatched a 1-1 stalemate away at historic rivals Roma, it has been suggested over the past few months that United’s new hierarchy have identified Bremer as a standout defensive target.

Italian outlet Calciomercato reported this week that the two clubs could be set to agree on a €50million deal and it has even been suggested that United are willing to offer the four-cap international a salary worth €10million.

Although Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid might have also made their interest clear to Bremer’s representatives, it has been reported that United are sat in the driving seat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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