Man City focus on homegrown talents with Everton starlet Jarrad Branthwaite added to transfer shortlist

Jarrad Branthwaite battling with Bukayo Saka

Manchester City have observed Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite as they look to bolster their homegrown ranks, according to a report.

There are currently a number of English players featuring regularly for Pep Guardiola. He has often called upon Kyle Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish this season.

What’s more, the likes of Cole Palmer, James McAtee and CJ Egan-Riley have been knocking on the door of the first team from the academy ranks.

However, it is important for Manchester City to keep their quota of British players high. With that in mind, they are exploring talent from within the country.

According to the Daily Mail, one option on their radar is Everton centre-back Branthwaite. He made eight of his 13 appearances for the club so far in the 2021-22 season.

The former Blackburn Rovers loanee started four Premier League matches across the campaign. He scored one goal, but also received one red card.

But champions Manchester City have been keeping tabs on him, the Mail claim.

The left-footer is under contract with Everton until 2025. The club retain the option to extend that deal by a further year.

Yet if City firm up their interest, they may be forced into a sale before then. In the process, Branthwaite could follow the path Stones took in 2016.

Interestingly, the 19-year-old has also been linked with City’s local rivals Manchester United in a previous report from the Mail.

He is not the only British defender being considered at the Etihad Stadium. Man City also have their eyes on Leicester academy product Ben Nelson.

The 18-year-old made 18 appearances in the Premier League 2 for Leicester’s under-23s in 2021-22.

According to the Mail, there is a chance he could make a senior breakthrough if Leicester sell Jannik Vestergaard this summer.

Alternatively, Man City could tempt him into their ranks. They could then loan him out with a view to his development.

Man City move may be too soon for Jarrad Branthwaite

The chance to sign for Man City has plenty of appeal to any player right now. They have won four of the past five editions of the Premier League.

However, that doesn’t mean joining them would be the best move for a young player’s development.

If he was to join Guardiola’s ranks, Branthwaite would be competing with Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake for place.

The fact he is left-footed means Laporte and Ake would be his primary competition.

There are no guarantees he would be able to dislodge them immediately, given that he hasn’t even been a frequent starter for Everton yet.

But if he keeps doing well at Goodison Park, City will likely keep him on their radar.

READ MORENewcastle, Everton lured into Zinchenko transfer battle after Arsenal link