Newcastle United have identified Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite as a key target heading into the New Year.
Speaking exclusively to NUFC Blog, Football Transfers correspondent Steve Kay has revealed that the 21-year-old is “at the top of the list” in Eddie Howe’s search for a long-term Fabian Schar replacement.
He also tells us that Branthwaite is keen on a move to St James’ Park, with most of his family still based just an hour away from Newcastle in Carlisle. Howe is pushing the club to make their move in January, fearing a host of top clubs will join the race for his signature next summer.
The 6ft 5′ England U21 international can play as a left or right-sided centre-back and it’s believed he’d bring pace, power and huge potential to Howe’s options in defence.
Here’s what Kay told us about our interest, explaining why he ticks so many boxes for the Toon boss:
“I’ve been told Eddie Howe is looking for a long-term replacement for Fabian Schar, who is coming up to 32 soon, and Jarrad Branthwaite is the guy at the top of his list.
“Since I’ve been told that news, I’ve been speaking to a few other people and no one is surprised one bit. He fits all the criteria of an Eddie Howe signing.
“If you go back to other windows, he usually goes for English players and likes to build an English core. Last summer he looked at James Maddison, Kalvin Phillips, Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount, with Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Anthony Gordon signed in previous windows.
“Branthwaite just fits and I’m told he’d be up for the move. He’s from Carlisle where a lot of his family are still based, which is just an hour from Newcastle.
“He’s up for the move and Howe would like it to happen in January, as he believes a flurry of top clubs will be looking to sign him next summer. January is a hard time to get players, but he’s the want they want and ticks so many boxes for the club.
“Howe also feels he’d compliment Newcastle’s current options. He’d add pace to his back line and would also learn from experienced players like Trippier, Schar and Burn.”