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Major Manchester United transfer hopes threatened by Pep Guardiola and City hijack



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Manchester City and manager Pep Guardiola could yet spoil one of Manchester United’s most prominent transfer hopes during the ongoing summer market.

The Premier League champions are currently in the process of assessing their options ahead of intensifying pursuits within the transfer market this month and before the return of competitive club football in early August.

Midfield reinforcements are widely understood to be Manchester City’s priority in the market ahead of what could be Pep Guardiola’s final season with the club, as Etihad bosses target both compliments to Rodri in defensive roles and playmaker-type creative operators.

However, despite their priorities and clearer intentions this summer, the Premier League champions are certainly not opposed to flexing their financial muscle and making offers for potential opportunities elsewhere across the squad.

As such, the latest information concerns Manchester City, and particularly Pep Guardiola’s admiration and interest in one of the Premier League’s most highly-rated central defensive talents, who is also attracting interest from rivals.

According to a new report from The Sun, manager Pep Guardiola could ‘ruin’ Manchester United’s hopes of signing Everton’s £80 million-rated centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite during the ongoing summer transfer window.

It is claimed that the Etihad Stadium head coach is ‘impressed’ by the Englishman’s ability to play the ball out from the back, as well as his defensive qualities showcased whilst working under Sean Dyche at Goodison Park.

Whilst it is suggested that Manchester City transfer bosses, alongside Pep Guardiola, are now ‘pondering’ a move for the 22-year-old, those at the Merseyside club are ‘no longer under pressure’ to sell fast this summer.

Manchester City are unlikely to see any of their current roster of central defenders leave the club this summer, meaning any successful pursuit of Branthwaite would see the England international forced into fighting for a place in Pep Guardiola’s plans.

The Catalan coach has been known to be willing to transform and coach players into multiple positions, with Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake two primary examples of centre-backs who largely play away from their ‘natural’ position.

John Stones has also built a reputation around his ability to operate in defensive midfield and right-back, despite predominantly being a central defender and joining Manchester City as one in the summer of 2016.