Reports indicate that Manchester United are now interested in Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, who was a target for Jose Mourinho’s Roma side in the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old spent last season on loan from the Toffee’s, linking up with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nisterooy at PSV Eindhoven. He caught the attention of Jose Mourinho thanks to some fine performances.

The Daily Mail reported that Liverpool, United and Mourinho’s Roma all sent scouts to watch Branthwaite in action for PSV after the Dutch side had a £15m bid rejected in January following his impressive form.

Nothing materialised then for any of the three clubs. But now United could be looking at him again in an attempt to bolster their defence.

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United interested in Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite

According to a report from the Daily Mail, Everton’s left-sided centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, who impressed scouts while on loan last season, is a surprise name that has been floated about the United camp as a potential acquisition.

Alongside him, Nice’s much-improved defender Jean-Clair Todibo has come back into the reckoning. Axel Disasi is now entirely out of the picture after he agreed to sign for Chelsea.

Branthwaite is an interesting one, that’s completely out of left field. The centre-half is physically imposing, standing tall at 6ft 5 – which would add some much-needed height to the United side.

Destined for greatness

Branthwaite was always tipped to be a really top talent. His former manager Steven Pressley spoke with Everton back in 2020 and believed that he was set to be a future England international.

“Jarrad was just 16 when I first saw him play but he immediately made a big impression on me,” Pressley told Everton’s media team.

“It was about three weeks into my tenure at Carlisle and he was playing in the second team. He had so many quality attributes to become a top player.

“On the back of that one game, I phoned the Director of Football to get him tied up on a longer-term contract, which we did within two or three days.

“From that moment on, he trained with the first team every day. I told people he was a future England international.

AZ Alkmaar v PSV - Dutch Eredivisie
Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images

A pacey defender despite his height

Pressley also discussed that he was shocked at some of his attributes considering his towering height.

“The thing with Jarrad is, he is actually very, very quick,” added Pressley.

“But, at the age of 16, his speed over the initial five or 10 yards had to improve. He had no power at that time. But because you could see he could run, you knew that aspect would come.

“He is now physically improving, he is getting stronger all the time. But that little bit more power will come in the next couple of years. That’s why there is a lot more improvement in him.

He’s now had years to develop and has clearly thrived on his loan spell. He could be a great option for the Red Devils. We’ll definitely be watching this space.

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