Manchester United and Tottenham leading race to sign Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite | Football

Jarrad Branthwaite is valued at around £50m(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester United and Tottenham are in a direct battle to sign Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

The defender has attracted attention from a host of Premier League clubs this season thanks to his brilliant displays for the Toffees.

Despite sitting in the relegation zone, Everton have conceded just 32 goals in 24 matches this term.

Much of that defensive improvement has been down to Branthwaite following his return from PSV Eindhoven.

That has seen the Toffees receive enquiries from Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid.

But it’s Spurs and United that have firmed up their interest, with the two sides not in a direct battle for Branthwaite, according to the Daily Mail.

Everton are under financial strain. (Photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Everton are under financial strain. (Photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag wants a left-sided centre-back to provide competition for Lisandro Martinez, who has suffered with injury problems in the last 12 months.

Ange Postecoglou signed Radu Dragusin in January, but he’s keen on signing another centre-back in the summer.

Much could depend on how the season plays out, with Spurs currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League spot.

United’s 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Sunday kept the club’s hopes of finishing in the top four alive, while a fifth place finish could also be enough if English clubs are successful in Europe this term.

Similarly, should Everton be relegated, the club will be under huge pressure to sell for a reduced price.

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