Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Vincent Kompany heaps praise on £80m Man Utd target Ratcliffe is desperate to sign; Everton star reacts to exit talk

Vincent Kompany is a big admirer of Everton star and Man Utd target Jarrad Branthwaite

Vincent Kompany is a big admirer of Everton star and Man Utd target Jarrad Branthwaite

Burnley boss and former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has heaped praise on Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, who is a key target for Manchester United. 

The 21-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance against Burnley on Saturday as the Toffees triumphed 1-0 over the Clarets to gain a vital three points.

Branthwaite has undoubtedly been Everton’s stand-out player this season and will be a key reason they survive relegation if they can finish outside the bottom three.

The centre-back deservedly received his first call-up to the England national team last month, which has only increased his value amid interest from Man Utd, Manchester City, Tottenham and others.

TEAMtalk sources state that Everton will demand a minimum of £80m for Branthwaite this summer.

Speaking after Burnley’s loss at Goodison Park, Kompany said he thinks the youngster has the potential to play at the very highest level.

“If that kid Branthwaite keeps putting his body on the line like this, I can’t keep telling my strikers [to do better]. He’s sliding across five times and doing really well.

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“Branthwaite is a young defender and sometimes it’s important to stay away from the hype a little bit.

“It’s just a really objective analysis of moments where my strikers have done so well and he gets back, sometimes his team-mates get beaten, but he reads the moment to go and cover. It’s a side of the game that he has that is really promising for the future.”

Ratcliffe wants Jarrad Branthwaite at Man Utd

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made bringing a top quality young centre-back his priority for the summer transfer window and Branthwaite is right at the top of his shortlist.

The Everton star could replace Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof or Jonny Evans at Old Trafford, whose futures are all in doubt.

Ratcliffe reportedly sees Branthwaite as a potentially brilliant long-term investment for Man Utd and it will be interesting to see if he is willing to pay a big fee to bring him in.

The defender was asked about the speculation surrounding him on Saturday and refused to rule out a move away from Goodison Park in the summer.

“You have just got to block it all out. I think if you focus on the outside stuff, you get distracted from what you need to do on the pitch.

“For me now, until the end of the season, I am just focussed on winning games for Everton Football Club.”

Everton may have ended their 13-game winless run at the weekend but are still just four points outside the relegation zone.

They could also receive another points deduction, which is expected to be announced next week.

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