Everton reject £35m Branthwaite bid from Man Utd

 Manchester United have made an opening bid in the region of £35m for centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, which is set to be rejected by Everton.

The offer is way below the figure the Toffees value the defender at, which is understood to be £80m.

United have already agreed personal terms with the player.

However BBC Sport has been told Everton do not want to sell Branthwaite, 21, whom many believe was unlucky to miss out on selection for England's European Championship squad.

The Merseyside club believe it is a matter of time before Branthwaite becomes an England regular and rate him in the same bracket as Harry Maguire and Josko Gvardiol.

Maguire cost United £80m when he joined from Leicester in 2019. Gvardiol cost Manchester City £77m when he moved from RB Leipzig last summer.

Branthwaite has caught the eye with a series of impressive performances as a left-sided central defender for Everton, helping the Merseyside club to avoid relegation last season despite two points deductions for breaching rules limiting financial losses.

In May Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell said players "will be sold" this summer and asked fans for "patience and understanding" as the club work to improve their financial condition.

With current profit and sustainability rules (PSR) in place for next season and no Champions League football, United are open to offers for almost all their first-team squad as they look to generate funds and improve Erik ten Hag's squad.

United have put a £40m price tag on 24-year-old forward Jadon Sancho.

After completing a two-week performance reviewwhich saw Ten Hag stay as manager, United are targeting central defence as an area they want to strengthen.

Frenchman Raphael Varane left the club following the FA Cup final, and Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof all suffered injuries last season.

Veteran Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans was also troubled by injury, although United have confirmed they are in talks with the 36-year-old over a new deal.