Jarrad Branthwaite has insisted he's "blocking out" transfer speculation amid Everton's fight for Premier League survival.

The Cumbrian defender's impressive performances throughout the Premier League season have seen him linked with a string of top clubs.

Manchester United are persistently linked with a summer move for the ex-Carlisle United man, while Real Madrid have also been mentioned a potentially interested party.

Branthwaite, though, says his only focus right now is the job in hand for his club.

Speaking after Everton's 1-0 win over Burnley last time out, the Wigton star said: "You have just got to block it all out.

"I think if you focus on the outside stuff, you get distracted from what you need to do on the pitch.

“For me now, until the end of the season, I am just focused on winning games for Everton Football Club.”

Everton's campaign was further hit on Tuesday with another points deduction by the Premier League.

The two-point deduction for a breach of financial rules - Everton say they will appeal - leaves them 16th, two points above the drop zone.

Branthwaite, who was recently called up to the full England squad, was Everton's star man against Burnley.

And the 21-year-old came in for praise from Clarets boss Vincent Kompany, himself an illustrious former defender with Manchester City and Belgium.

News and Star: Vincent Kompany, the Burnley manager, has praised Jarrad BranthwaiteVincent Kompany, the Burnley manager, has praised Jarrad Branthwaite (Image: PA)

Kompany said: "Full credit to Everton, there were loads of blocked shots. If that kid Branthwaite keeps putting his body on the line like this, I can’t keep telling my strikers...

“Branthwaite is a young defender and sometimes it’s important to stay away from the hype a little bit. It’s just a really objective analysis of moments where my strikers have done so well and he gets back, sometimes his team-mates get beaten, but he reads the moment to go and cover.

“It’s a side of the game that he has that is really promising for the future.”