Manchester City could be set to join the race for Jarrad Branthwaite according to latest reports.

Everton's Cumbrian defender has long been linked with Manchester United, who are said to have had an opening bid rejected earlier this summer.

Premier League champions side are now claimed to be keeping tabs on the Wigton star, who turned 22 last week.

A report in The Sun says City boss Pep Guardiola is "understood to be impressed by [Branthwaite's] ability to play out from the back and his defensive qualities."

It remains to be seen whether further bids will come in for the one-cap England prospect after a reported £35m offer from Man Utd was knocked back by Everton.

The Red Devils are now reported to have made an offer for Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Dutch title De Telegraaf claim they have offered the player a five-year deal.

That could have implications on their interest in Branthwaite, who Everton are determined not to sell on the cheap.

They would want substantially more than the fee previously offered and, as things stand, there remains a good chance of the Cumbrian remaining with the Toffees for the 2024/25 Premier League campaign.

Branthwaite's first club Carlisle United stand to benefit substantially from any big-money transfer involving the big defender, through a sell-on clause.