Carlisle United have today denied striking any agreement with another club over teenager Jarrad Branthwaite's future.

The Blues' director of football David Holdsworth said no such deal or agreement was in place.

It follows reports in the north east suggesting Newcastle had "first refusal" on the talented Cumbrian defender.

It has been claimed that such an offer was included as part of the loan deal which brought Elias Sorensen to Brunton Park.

Holdsworth, though, appears to have refuted that suggestion.

He said: "No bids have been received and there are definitely no deals or agreements in place with any club at any level about Jarrad’s future."

Branthwaite has been heavily scouted this season and a host of big clubs in England and Scotland are monitoring the 17-year-old's progress.

The likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester, Rangers and Celtic have been represented at recent Blues games.

The youngster was named man-of-the-match after an impressive display in United's 1-0 win over Forest Green in their FA Cup second round replay on Tuesday night.

The Wigton prospect has made 12 senior appearances to date, in that time becoming Carlisle's youngest-ever goalscorer.

New boss Chris Beech said Branthwaite is "definitely better" at the same age than Dale Stephens, the current Brighton top-flight midfielder who the Blues head coach worked with at Bury.

Holdsworth, speaking on Carlisle's website today, said the club were "fully aware" of the speculation and interest around Branthwaite.

He said: "All we can do is reassure fans that everybody at this club is delighted that we have this young man with us on a long-term contract.

“It’s no surprise that other clubs are aware of his emergence, that’s the nature of the business we’re in, and there will be scouts taking note of his abilities on a weekly basis.

"That interest will remain as Jarrad continues to establish himself in the first-team environment. We can't avoid that."

Holdsworth said Branthwaite was a "great kid" with a "fantastic" family, adding: "We’re delighted that we’ve been able to help with and watch his development through our academy system.

"Tuesday night’s performance was excellent from him and he fully deserved his man-of-the-match award. We’re looking forward to seeing more of the same from him as we go on from here.”