Tottenham join Man Utd, Man City in fight to sign £50m defensive colossus as three-way battle looms large

Jarrad Branthwaite Everton

Jarrad Branthwaite is wanted by Tottenham, Man Utd and Man City

Tottenham have reportedly joined the two Manchester clubs in the race to sign a Premier League centre-back who currently has a £50million price tag on his head.

Ange Postecoglou is known to want another central defender on board this summer to provide greater depth at the position after Spurs struggled to keep clean sheets in his first campaign at the helm.

Targets from Italy have been mooted after the north London club raided Serie A for Cristian Romero and Radu Dragusin in recent times, but it appears they are now looking closer to home for their last addition.

A fresh report has emerged suggesting Everon star Jarrad Branthwaite is very much on Postecoglou’s radar, although the Australian will likely have to do battle with both Manchester clubs to get his man.

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United and City are both rumoured to be ready to spend in excess of £50m for the 21-year-old talent who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive talents in the country despite Everton’s struggles to avoid the drop this season.

There is no doubting Branthwaite’s potential though and that has clearly piqued the interest of Premier League rivals in what could turn into a battle royale for his signature over the next few months.

In terms of Tottenham‘s interest, they already have a highly-rated pairing in Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven but that has not stopped the defence conceding 61 goals in their 37 Premier League outings before the final game of the season at Sheffield United on Sunday.

Many of those problems stem from the lack of midfield protection in front of them and Postecoglou’s high-risk tactics playing out from the back. However, that’s not stopped the Tottenham boss wanting another quality centre-back on board, bty the looks of things.

The Spurs chief actually tweaked his side for the midweek loss against Manchester City, moving Van de Ven to left-back and playing January signing Dragusin alongside Romero.

And despite Tottenham losing the game, they certainly looked more solid defensively and limited City to few chances in what was a good performance against the would-be champions.

Tottenham facing Branthwaite battle

However, adding Brathwaite to that centre-back mix will be a tough ask for Tottenham given interest from the two Manchester giants.

United are expected to bring in two new central defenders this summer, with Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans moving on while Harry Maguire could also be shown the door.

As for City, Pep Guardiola is always on the hunt for quality defensive options, despite already having a plethora of centre-backs at his disposal.

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The Spaniard’s tendency to utilise the likes of John Stones and Manuel Akanji as defensive midfielders at times and also use Josko Gvardiol at left-back, showing the value he places in having a huge number of defensive options to rotate in and out.

You couldn’t really argue against that approach either as City stand on the brink of winning an historic fourth successive Premier League title.