Everton could ask for player plus cash United deal as Branthwaite agrees terms

Manchester United have been repeatedly linked with a move this summer for Blues centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.
Arsenal FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Everton FC - Premier League / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

There have been almost daily media reports and rumours that the Everton star could be on his way up the M62 from Merseyside to Manchester very soon.

Now comes a report from the BBC that United have agreed personal terms with the young England international.

That same story however says the Blues want at least £80 million for Branthwaite, a price tag United are very reluctant to meet.

Everton are under huge financial pressure as everyone - including of course the Old Trafford club - know only too well and need to sell players this summer to help avoid another possible PSR breach and help balance the books.

Meanwhile, there is still no certainty about the future ownership of the club with interested parties circling as Farhad Moshiri considers his options.

Although news last night might mean that could change sooner than had been anticipated. However, again there is no certainty this will happen or how long it will take to complete a takeover.

All this puts the Toffees in a very vulnerable position and leaves them with little leverage when it comes to negotiating in the transfer market.

A price tag of £80 million, while at the high end, is not unreasonable given Branthwaite's youth, talent and the tremendous campaign he had last season.

Having said that and while Everton could hold out for such a fee, might there be another option to consider as Kevin Thelwell and Sean Dyche try to find ways to strengthen an already threadbare squad but without much money to do so.

United too have financial pressures with no Champions League football next season and they are also allegedly skirting close to possibly breaching PSR so there is a need for them to sell as well.

Given all that, United do not want to pay more than around £50 million for the 21-year-old knicknamed the 'Carlise Kaiser' for his imperious displays in the heart of the Blues defence.

That is way below the value of a player who I'm sure can go on to become one of the best centre-backs in the game.

But in truth, the Toffees are not in a strong negotiating position for all the reasons mentioned above, in what is a buyers transfer market with a number of Premier League clubs looking to offload surplus talent.

So, could they perhaps consider a player plus cash deal and if so who would they want from the group that United would be open to selling?

One player who Everton have been linked with in the past and who would perfectly fit the mold of individual Dyche likes is of course Scott McTominay.

The Scotland international - who played in last night's Euros opener against Germany - is a strong defensive midfielder who can also score goals and would offer a decent long-term replacement alongside James Garner for both Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana.

For different reasons neither are going to be at Goodison Park for long. Gueye is 34 and although his contract extension has been activated, it is only for another year and he cannot go on performing at this level forever.

Meanwhile, it seems almost certain that Onana will be sold this summer with Arsenal now apparently making a move for the Belgian star.

Rumours have floated around that Everton are keen on signing Kalvin Phillips - who is similar to McTominay - but while a loan deal for Phillips might be possible, he has had a difficult time recently and has played little top flight football.

Another United player to consider could be Mason Mount. He is also a solid defensive player in the middle of the park but also offers more attacking threat than McTominay, at least in theory.

The Englishman's career has stalled badly at Old Trafford and perhaps a chance to kick-start it at Goodison Park might appeal to him.

I'm not saying this is necessarily the route the Toffees should take, but it might make some sense to consider it as an option - if they can get the right player - given that Branthwaite's sale seems increasingly certain to happen this summer.