Premier League • England

Everton in danger as Ancelotti orders Real Madrid to join Man Utd, Tottenham in race for one of their best players

Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid badge and Jarrad Branthwaite

Carlo Ancelotti is aiming to lure Jarrad Branthwaite to the Bernabeu

Carlo Ancelotti could come back to haunt Everton by encouraging Real Madrid to try and sign Jarrad Branthwaite, a report has revealed.

Branthwaite has only really broken into the Everton first team this season under Sean Dyche, but it was actually Ancelotti who gave him his debut for the club back in the summer of 2020.

The defender then spent Ancelotti’s final season in charge of Everton out on loan with Blackburn Rovers, before having a fringe role upon his return and ending up at PSV for his next loan spell.

Branthwaite earned his stripes in the Netherlands, attracting attention from various other clubs. Finally, the logical thing for Everton to do was to keep him.

Not only has Dyche given Branthwaite a regular starting role this season, but Everton have also tied the 21-year-old down to a better contract until 2027.

It has not deterred some major clubs from putting Branthwaite’s name on their shortlist, though. TEAMtalk has verified that Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been watching him, even back when he was in the Eredivisie.

Both of those admirers are named once again in the latest update on Branthwaite’s future by the Daily Mail.

However, the main focus of the fresh report is on Real Madrid, who are said to be keeping tabs on the former Carlisle United prospect ahead of the summer transfer window.

Two of Ancelotti’s main centre-backs at his current club, Eder Militao and David Alaba, are both nursing anterior cruciate ligament injuries at the moment.

Antonio Rudiger and club captain Nacho Fernandez are still at his disposal for the time being, while Ancelotti has hinted at using Aurelien Tchouameni – naturally a holding midfielder – in a deeper role.

TEAMtalk recently learned that Madrid would battle their way through their injury crisis while saving up for the summer.

But given that Alaba, Rudiger and Nacho are all in their 30s anyway, Los Blancos will need to consider their options for the long-term at centre-back soon – if not now, then the summer.

Real Madrid scouts see good things in Branthwaite

With that in mind, the Mail claims they are now doing their research on Branthwaite after a recommendation by Ancelotti, who recently committed his own future to the side from the Spanish capital.

Ancelotti’s son, Davide, who works as an assistant coach at the Santiago Bernabeu, is said to be in contact with Branthwaite still, offering encouragement and support as he continues his development.

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Furthermore, the scouts Real Madrid have deployed to observe Branthwaite have been giving good feedback about him.

Convinced by his technical attributes, the next step of their research will be to assess his personal qualities and mentality. They want to determine if he could adjust to such a move.

His spell with PSV provides evidence that Branthwaite can adapt to playing abroad, but is he capable of stepping up to one of the biggest clubs in the world?

The Mail implies Branthwaite would be excited by Real’s interest, although he would have to wait for his suitors to make a massive bid before Everton would be tempted to let him go.

Sources told TEAMtalk last month that Everton could use £75m as a benchmark figure for Branthwaite’s transfer, citing other moves of a similar cost such as Wesley Fofana’s from Leicester City to Chelsea in 2022.

Agent explains Everton defender’s stance

Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite during the pre-season friendly match at Goodison Park, Liverpool

Due to the costs of the operation, Branthwaite is unlikely to be on his way out of Goodison Park this month, but could become a hot topic in the summer transfer window.

His agent, David Reeves, has said: “Everton were the ones who took a chance on Jarrad in signing him from Carlisle and he is happy getting a run in the team and playing well.

“You can’t help but notice the way he is performing but he’s a loyal, level-headed lad and he’s enjoying this moment.

“He just wants to carry on growing as a player, getting better.”

Branthwaite has made 21 appearances across all competitions this season, which means he now has a total of 34 games as an Everton player to his name.

He is something of a commodity as a left-footed centre-back and would represent a natural successor to Alaba in Madrid because of those characteristics.

For the time being, he will be focusing on completing what is essentially his first full season as a regular player – let alone starter, as has been the case – in the Premier League with Everton, but after establishing himself as one of their best players pretty quickly, he could be forgiven for dreaming big behind the scenes.

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