The winter transfer window passed without so much as a whimper for many clubs, including Man United.
A number of outgoing loan deals notwithstanding, including for the likes of Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri et al, there was a distinct lack of incoming transfers, perhaps with Financial Fair Play concerns in mind.
That could be set to change in the summer regardless of whether Erik ten Hag is in charge or not.
It’s clear that the Red Devils need to have a settled central defence if they’re going to come close to winning silverware on a regular basis once more.
Every successful side is built on a solid back four and injuries as well as a loss of form to key players such as Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane means that United are on the lookout for a reliable centre-back to help change their fortunes.
According to Football Insider (h/t Fichajes), the first signing that the club want through the Old Trafford doors in the summer is Everton’s £25m-rated 21-year-old, Jarrad Branthwaite.
The Toffees surely wouldn’t welcome an approach from their North West rivals, however, if they’re deducted further points for breaches of FFP rules, then they may have little choice but to cash in – particularly if they’re relegated to the Championship as a result of the points deduction.