Liverpool and Chelsea are both monitoring the progress of 17-year-old Carlisle United defender Jarrad Branthwaite, a report from the Daily Mail has claimed.
Branthwaite only broke into Carlisle’s senior side at the start of this season, and has so far made 14 appearances in all competitions for the Cumbrians.
The teenager also became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer and captain, achieving both feats in a 3-1 EFL Trophy defeat at Morecambe back in November.
Those performances certainly appear to have caught the attention of plenty further up the footballing pyramid, with these latest reports claiming that both Liverpool and Chelsea are interested in signing the centre back, who is expected to leave Brunton Park in the January transfer window.
But the two Premier League giants are not the first teams to be linked with a move for Branthwaite this season.
It has previously been reported by The Sun that Scottish duo Celtic and Rangers are keen on a move for the defender, while another Premier League side, Aston Villa, have also been credited with an interest in the 17-year-old.
There are 18 months remaining on Branthwaite’s contract with Carlisle, securing his future at the club until the summer of 2021, although the Cumbrians do have the option of extending that deal by a further 12 months.
The step up from League Two to the Premier League is massive, but you feel this is an opportunity Branthwaite will be desperate to take should it come along.
You never know whether the chance to play for a club such as Liverpool or Chelsea will arise again in the future, so Branthwaite may want to take that chance while it clearly seems to be there.
While this would be a big loss for Carlisle on the pitch, they would at least stand to receive a decent fee here it seems, which could be useful for the club going forward in other ways in the future.