Home » Arsenal join the hunt for Jarrad Branthwaite

Arsenal join the hunt for Jarrad Branthwaite

by Darragh Fox

Arsenal are set to rival Manchester United in the race to sign highly-rated Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.

The Sun reveal the London club have “joined” their North West rivals in their admiration of the 21-year-old defender.

Mikel Arteta appeared to have doubts over Gabriel Magalhães earlier in the season with the Brazilian starting from the bench in Arsenal’s opening games.

Similarly, Jakub Kiwior has not impressed in his brief cameos in a Gunners shirt following his £21 million move from Spezia last January.

As such, a new left-sided centre-back may be a priority for Arsenal this summer as they seek to recapture the form which saw them lead the Premier League for the majority of last season.

Branthwaite, who operates on the left-hand side of defence, has been drawing rave reviews across the footballing word at the heart of Sean Dyche’s defence.

Old Trafford scouts are believed to have relayed their positive reports on the defender back to club officials with United designating Branthwaite as their “top defensive target” this summer.

The centre-back has even been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are reported to be looking to sign a left-sided centre-half this summer.

Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was actually the man to give Branthwaite his debut at Everton in 2020; and if there’s a single person in European football who knows a good central defender, it’s Ancelotti.

The defender joined the Merseyside club from Carlisle as a 17-year-old in a deal worth £1 million. Four years later, officials at Goodison Park are reported to have slapped a £100 million price tag on their “Rolls Royce” of a defender.

Everton are facing acute pressure from Financial Fair Play regulation, however, having fallen foul of the Profit and Sustainability rules of the Premier League.

Dyche’s side have already been imposed with a ten-point deduction in November but fresh breaches may mean another deduction is yet to come.

The Merseyside club may, therefore, require a quick cash injection this summer to stave off any further penalties going into next season.

This economic uncertainty is believed to have put clubs like Arsenal and United on red-alert as they smell an opportunity to secure a highly-rated player on a cut-price deal.

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