Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man Utd sweating as Man City threaten to hijack record-breaking deal for top Ratcliffe target

Ben Stewart
Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

Man City are looking at Jarrad Branthwaite

Manchester United could be sweating as their local rivals Manchester City have registered an interest in one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s top transfer targets.

Jarrad Branthwaite is considered as one of the Premier League’s most promising defenders and following a breakthrough season at Goodison Park, he’s attracting plenty of interest.

Everton currently boast the joint fourth-best defensive record in the league, having only conceded 39 goals so far. While a number of factors have contributed towards this, Branthwaite has undoubtedly played a huge role in their defensive stability.

He’s earned an England call-up on the back of his excellent form at club level and now sides like Man City are starting to take notice.

According to the Daily Mail, Man City are ‘monitoring developments’ regarding Branthwaite as they ponder making a move.

Man City certainly aren’t short of options in this department as they already have the likes of John Stones, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol to rely upon.

However, Pep Guardiola’s side are constantly looking for areas to strengthen and it seems as if Branthwaite ticks plenty of boxes for the Premier League champions.

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It could take a record transfer to sign Branthwaite

Understandably, plenty of clubs are now eyeing up the Everton star. Along with Man City, the likes of Man Utd, Tottenham and even Real Madrid have been linked.

The most concrete links to Branthwaite up until this point have been with Man Utd. According to TEAMtalk sources, the Red Devils have made the Everton star their top defensive target for the summer.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made signing a new centre-back his priority in the upcoming window and Branthwaite seems to be at the top of his list right now.

However, both Man City and Man Utd will be aware that it could take a record fee to land the 21-year-old defender in the summer.

According to TEAMtalk sources, Everton value their prized asset at upwards of £80m, meaning that it could take a record fee to land his signature. For context, Harry Maguire still remains the most expensive defender of all time following his £80m switch to Old Trafford in 2019.

With the Toffees seemingly playing hardball when it comes to Branthwaite, it stands to reason that it could take a record transfer fee to prize him out of Goodison Park.

Following his first England call-up, Gareth Southgate has admitted that he’s been impressed with the 21-year-old defender of late.

“Jarrad has really adapted well coming back from a loan in Holland,” Southgate told reporters. “He’s shown a real maturity, very comfortable with the ball, training with our guys.”

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