Man City consider ‘surprise move’ for Man Utd target as Guardiola eyes replacement for ‘unhappy star’

Lewis Oldham
Man City transfer
Jack Grealish and John Stones.

Manchester City are reportedly ‘weighing up’ a ‘surprise move’ for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, who is being linked with Manchester United.

Branthwaite has been one of the breakout stars in the Premier League this season as he has been sensational for Everton alongside veteran centre-back James Tarkowski.

Branthwaite to Man City?

The 21-year-old’s form has earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man England squad for Euro 2024 and he could also be on the move this summer.

The youngster has been heavily linked with Man Utd in recent weeks as one of their summer priorities will be to sign a centre-back with Raphael Varane expected to leave amid interest from Saudi Pro League clubs.

Man Utd have reportedly already attempted to low-ball Everton with a bid for Branthwaite and they could face competition from arch-rivals Man City for his signature.

City are already well-covered in the centre-back department but their reported interest in Branthwaite comes amid suggestions John Stones is ‘very unhappy’ at the Etihad and is ‘considering his future’. 

‘He is considered a guaranteed starter at centre-back under Gareth Southgate for the Euros, but there are concerns that a longer spell out of City’s team could see him lose his place beyond this summer.

‘His future at the reigning Premier League champions is now up in the air, despite his current contract running until the summer of 2026.’

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According to a report from Football Insider, Man City have ‘set their sights’ on Branthwaite, with the Etihad hierarchy ‘keeping close tabs’ on his situation with Stones ‘unhappy’.

‘Sources say City could make a surprise move to sign the 21-year-old if one of their current centre-backs leaves and are weighing up a move to sign him.

‘Football Insider revealed earlier this month that John Stones has been left “unhappy” with his diminished status at City in the second half of the just-completed season.

‘Everton want to hold on to their star defender for another season, with their preference to sell other first-team stars amid the threat of further financial issues.

‘Football Insider reported in April that Man United were in pole position to land Branthwaite should Everton be forced to sell this summer, with the club needing to raise money before 30 June.

‘With the club desperate to avoid further PSR infringements, they will look to sell this summer.’

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