Manchester United have again been linked with a possible move for Cumbrian star Jarrad Branthwaite.

Fresh reports in the national media say the Old Trafford giants are admirers of Everton's ex-Carlisle United defender.

Wigton star Branthwaite is mentioned as a "surprise name" that has been floated in discussions over defensive targets at Man Utd.

The Mail mention 20-year-old Branthwaite along with other possible targets such as Fiorentina's Sofyan Amrabat and Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo.

The report says Branthwaite impressed Man Utd's scouts with his performances during last season's loan spell with PSV Eindhoven.

The Cumbrian, who was part of England Under-21s' European Championship-winning squad this summer, is back in pre-season training at Everton.

He returned for pre-season later than many of his Toffees team-mates because of his involvement in the Euros.

Branthwaite made his first appearance in Everton's friendlies with a 45-minute outing in their 1-0 win at Stoke City last weekend.

They face Sporting Lisbon this weekend.

Branthwaite recently spoke about his hopes for the season upon his return to Goodison Park.

He said he was targeting being a regular first-team starter under Sean Dyche in the 2023/24 Premier League season.

News and Star: Branthwaite, right, is hoping to be a regular Premier League starter for EvertonBranthwaite, right, is hoping to be a regular Premier League starter for Everton (Image: PA)

"I spoke to the manager briefly before the season finished,” Branthwaite told Everton’s official channels.

“For me, I know I need to come in, have a strong pre-season and secure a place for next season.

“I have got the experience I need to come back and get into the team. Overall, I need to have a strong pre-season and go from there.”

Dyche, speaking earlier this summer, said he was looking forward to working with Branthwaite, and a report by FootballTransfers says Everton are likely to resist any offers for the defender this summer.

A big-money departure for Branthwaite would be of interest to Carlisle United, with the Cumbrian's first club due to benefit through a sell-on clause following his move to Everton in 2020.