EXCLUSIVE: Everton identify Branthwaite replacement following Man Utd interest

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 23 Feb 2024 10:52 GMT
  • 3 min read
Ballard Jarrad Branthwaite

Everton have a concrete interest in signing Sunderland centre-back Daniel Ballard in the upcoming summer transfer window as a replacement for Jarrad Branthwaite, FootballTransfers can reveal.

We have been told by a source very close to the player that the Merseyside club have been watching Ballard very closely since the end of last season.

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The Northern Ireland defender came through the esteemed Hale End Academy at Arsenal. He spent 14 years in North London before signing for Sunderland on a permanent basis back in 2022 for a fee of €2.34 million.

Money that has proved to be well spent by the Black Cats as Ballard has now gone on to become one of the leading figures in the Championship side’s fight to get into the Play-Offs at the end of the season.

Standing at 6'2'', the centre-half made his senior international bow in 2020. His first Sunderland goal came in the Black Cats’ 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers in August 2023.

Sunderland are now expected to ask for a fee of around €23m for the Northern Ireland International, which would be a substantial profit on what they originally laid out for the player.

What teams are interested in Jarrad Braithwaite

Jarrad Branthwaite is wanted by Man Utd and Spurs
© IMAGO - Jarrad Branthwaite is wanted by Man Utd and Spurs

One of the reasons Everton could be on the lookout for someone of Ballard's ability is that currently there is a lot of interest in Branthwaite - FootballTransfers previously revealed that Manchester United and Tottenham are following the player closely.

The young defender could leave Goodison Park at the end of the season and the club, who are facing financial difficulty at present, may look to cash in on their most valuable asset.

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