Everton are in advanced talks with Carlisle United defender Jarrad Branthwaite as reported by Football Insider.
The seventeen-year-old has been the subject of keen interest from top-flight clubs ahead of this window and Everton appear to be in the driving seat. The Merseyside giants had a recent bid rejected by Carlisle, but talks have been ongoing, and the report claims the next few days could see a deal finally completed.
Leicester City, Newcastle, Aston Villa, and Scottish duo Celtic and Rangers have all been looking at the giant defender who’s made fourteen appearances in all competitions so far this season, all of which have been in the starting eleven.
Branthwaite is under contract at Brunton Park until 2021 having extended his deal in February last year. Still, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke the League Two strugglers now accept they will soon lose their prodigy who they value in the region of £1 million.
One for the future and a real talent, at only seventeen Branthwaite is more than holding his own in the harsh physical environment of League Two.
He will only get better, and while there is an argument his development would be better served playing regular first-team football at Carlisle, when Premier League money comes calling, it is tough to turn down.
Carlisle fans can only hope the club invest the money in a team that is currently hovering above the League Two relegation place.
However, the way the club is being run, many will not be holding their breath.