Everton Set Price Tag for Highly Sought after Defender

Everton has set a high price tag for young defender Jarrad Branthwaite, who several big clubs are interested in
Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

According to new reports, Everton has set the price for young star centreback Jarrad Branthwaite at 80 million pounds. The hope is the Toffees can receive a large transfer sum for the 21-year-old to replenish the limited funds in the club if he is sold.

Everton should not accept any offer lower, but I'm not sure they have the leverage to set and stick to a high price. Manchester United is one of the interested parties, and they are no stranger to doling out large piles of money for transfers.

The Red Devils purchased current center-back Harry Maguire for a reported 80 million pounds, making him the world's most expensive defender in 2019. However, Branthwaite signed a contract extension last summer that would keep him at Everton until 2027, pointing to the loyalty of the player.

Another factor to consider is the sizable sell-on clause of 15% that would go to Carlisle United whenever Everton decides to sell Branthwaite. Similar to the transfer situation with Amadou Onana, Everton should attempt to receive the highest price possible because of the details within previous transfer deals.

Branthwaite had a tremendous season with the Toffees, playing in 41 matches and adding three goals. His partnership with James Tarkowski was crucial to Everton surviving this season amid two points deductions and severe offensive struggles throughout the campaign.

His defensive statistics were outstanding with a 94th percentile rank in defensive actions and a 96th percentile rank in defensive duel percentage. His pace and range swept up any trouble in Everton's half and he showed immense timing in sliding challenges and clearing danger in the air.

Every Everton fan would love to keep Branthwaite and look to build on this season with a star in the making, but Director of Football Kevin Thelwell will look to ensure the sustainability of the club remains good.

Selling Branthwaite would contribute to that end and be another example of Everton failing to keep a player with high potential and losing out to large bids from large clubs. Everton sold another young center-back, John Stones, to Manchester City in 2016.

Only time will tell if Everton can keep Branthwaite amid its financial issues or continue its years-long firesale of its best players to keep the lights on.