Everton could be forced to consider 'cut price deal' for star player following new update
Everton's rising star Jarrad Branthwaite has attracted a lot of attention from rival clubs thanks to his performances in the Premier League this season. The 21-year-old has started all but three games for the Toffees so far, and Manchester United are said to be leading the race to acquire his signature in the summer transfer window.
Football Insider recently reported that Erik ten Hag has made Branthwaite a long-term target for his side, who are actively searching the market for new centre-back options. While he remains a key figure for Everton, they could be forced into making a big decision at the end of the season.
The outlet has followed up claiming that the Toffees 'could be forced to sanction a cut-price deal' for the defender, depending on how their 2023/24 season ends. Everton were recently dealt a 10-point deduction for breaching Profitability and Sustainability Rules, and despite producing an inspiring four-game win streak following the news, the Blues have slipped back into the relegation zone.
The report states that the club's potential drop to the Championship would spark 'massive interest' in a cut-price deal for Branthwaite's signature. Another factor that could force Everton's hand is the proposed takeover by US-based group 777 Partners. If the deal falls through, rival clubs could use this to their advantage and strike during a time of financial difficulty for the Toffees.
Everton have appealed against their recent points deduction but they could be hit with another serious blow after being charged with a second rule breach at the start of the year.
Branthwaite is under contract at Goodison Park until 2027 but the club's Premier League status could play a big part in whether he stays or leaves earlier than expected. Alongside Man United's interest in snapping him up, Real Madrid are also said to be admirers of the 21-year-old.
A price tag has not been named for Branthwaite but Transfermarkt currently value him at €25 million (£20m), which has shot up significantly over the past 12 months.