O'Brien fee far too high for Everton as Irish defender chased by English clubs

Reports today claim that Lyon want at least £30 million for the talented centre-back as the Blues are one of several Premier League clubs linked with him.
Portugal v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly
Portugal v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Everton could well be in the market for another centre-back as the rumours of Jarrad Branthwaite's leaving continue to pop up every so often.

As soon as last season ended, Branthwaite was clearly a very likely candidate to be sold, given his market value and the Toffees difficult and complicated financial situation.

Manchester United were strongly linked with a concrete move for the England international and did apparently table a £35 million bid for him, which was immediately rejected by Everton.

In addition, the Blues have also sold Ben Godfrey and might well be letting Micheal Keane go as well, leaving Sean Dyche's squad short of centre-backs, whether Branthwaite stays or not.

Several young central defenders have been rumoured to be of interest to the Toffees with Jacob Greaves of Hull City being the one name most heavily linked.

Along with Greaves, the young Irish defender O'Brien has been mentioned in conjunction with a possible move to Merseyside.

So far nothing concrete has happened and there has been no firm move for the 23-year-old who has been making a big impression at Lyon.

Well now according to one media outlet report, the French club want a big fee for the young player if he is to leave for pastures new.

O'Brien certainly looks a strong defender who would you hope add the necessary steel and silk at the back were he to come in and replace Branthwaite.

He also offers a decent goal threat with four goals scored last season in Ligue One. That is of some importance with Everton needing more goals from everywhere in their team next season.

Branthwaite himself popped up with a few big strikes in the last campaign, including of course that goal against Liverpool in the Goodison derby win.

Ideally, Branthwaite will stay, at least for another twelve months or so, before he perhaps inevitably moves on to a new club.

However, the chances of him still being an Everton player when the Grand Old Lady's last ever season kicks off in August, does seem at best 50-50, so a new face might well be lining up in the heart of the Blues defence.

Whatever happens though O'Brien's quoted fee will surely be far too high for the Toffees to pay and they may have to look elsewhere for more affordable options.