Manchester United retain Jarrad Branthwaite interest, Everton want to agree new deal

Everton are reportedly determined to tie highly-rated centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite down to a new long-term deal at Goodison Park amid his links with Manchester United.

According to Football Insider, Everton are in talks with Manchester United target Jarrad Branthwaite over a new contract as they look to tie down arguably one of their most prized assets.

Branthwaite started his professional career at Carlisle United, making 14 appearances for the lower-tier EFL club before joining Everton in January 2020. The 21-year-old defender has seen his stock rise significantly in the past 12 months or so after a successful loan spell with PSV Eindhoven.

He made 36 appearances under then-PSV boss Ruud van Nistelrooy and produced a series of impressive displays that resulted in them winning the KNVB Cup. The youngster has since shone after being handed a chance in the Everton side under Sean Dyche, starting five games in the league.

He has averaged 3.8 clearances, 2.2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 3.2 aerial duel wins per game, highlighting the defensive ability that he possesses. And his performances are certainly not going unnoticed. The England Under-21 international was linked with a move away from Everton during the summer transfer window amidst their financial troubles.

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He was linked with Manchester United amid claims he is valued at around £25 million by the Toffees, with the 6ft 5in defensive prodigy seen as a would-be replacement for unwanted star Harry Maguire.

The Red Devils failed to bolster their central defensive options outside of a free agent signing in Jonny Evans. That decision is costing them now, with Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw ruled out for long-term with serious injuries. However, even their future plans to reinforce that area have reportedly hit a bump in the road.

The Toffees are already in a strong position when it comes to the defender’s future, as he has nearly another two years left to run on his contract at Goodison Park. They even hold the option to extend that deal for a further season. However, there is a desire to reward the centre-back for his emergence this season with a new deal.

Everton sit 16th in the Premier League standings after seven matches, with only one win to their name. And their defeat to newly-promoted Luton Town suggested that another relegation battle could be on the cards.

It is still early days, of course, but Sean Dyche continues to find it difficult to bring out results. Branthwaite is one of the players who is hugely important for the Blues, both in the present and the future.

A potential move elsewhere could appeal to the young defender, especially if it is a bigger and more successful club than Everton. But the Toffees can provide him with regular minutes vital for his development. All in all, the Merseysiders must do everything in their power to extend his stay and make him the backbone of the team for the foreseeable future.

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