Real Madrid is monitoring star Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite. The 21-year-old center-back is widely considered one of the Merseyside club’s prized assets. Transfermarkt rates the youngster as the third-most valuable player in the Toffees squad. Only star midfielder Amadou Onana and Ukrainian left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko are currently valued higher than the central defender.

Branthwaite previously joined Everton from League Two side Carlisle in 2020. The Toffees were able to grab the highly rated defender for just over $1 million. Although a reported price tag on the defender varies depending on the news source, Everton will certainly ask for a massive fee regarding Branthwaite.

Real Madrid wants Jarrad Branthwaite as latest young signing

Mail Sport is claiming that Real is targeting the Everton defender with Carlo Ancelotti’s recommendation. The Italian manager currently coaches the Spanish giants but was previously with Everton. Ancelotti was at the helm of the Merseyside club when they signed Branthwaite. The veteran manager also gave the youngster his full senior debut in the team as well.

According to the aforementioned report, Real wants to target Branthwaite in the summer. The LaLiga side currently has four true center backs on the current roster. However, three of these players are now at least 30 years old. This includes David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger, and Nacho Fernandez. The latter player is also out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Along with having an aging defense, Real’s star center back, Éder Militão, is currently nursing a serious knee injury. The Brazilian suffered a torn ACL during his club’s first league match of the season. Militão is expected to miss at least nine months of action due to the setback.

Everton may look to ease financial strain with player sale

Although Everton will demand a significant transfer fee for Branthwaite, the club could certainly use an influx of cash. The Toffees are currently experiencing fairly severe financial issues at the moment. These concerns came to a climax earlier in the campaign. The Premier League docked Everton 10 points in November for violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Everton is appealing the ruling, but a pending change of ownership also complicates the club’s current standing. 777 Partners has been attempting to take over the team ever since they agreed to a deal with current ownership in September. The American group is looking to take a 94% majority stake in Everton as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the potential deal first requires approval.

Despite a potential transfer, Branthwaite’s agent, David Reeves, has claimed that his client is happy with the Toffees. “Everton were the ones who took a chance on Jarrad in signing him from Carlisle and he is happy getting a run in the team and playing well,” Reeves recently stated.

“You can’t help but notice the way he is performing but he’s a loyal, level-headed lad, and he’s enjoying this moment. He just wants to carry on growing as a player, getting better.”

Real will have to battle it out with other top clubs if they wish to sign the defender. Premier League rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have had interest in Branthwaite in recent months. The youngster only just signed a contract extension with Everton in October as well.