The Rangers manager Steven Gerrard appears to have competition in his attempts to bring the player to Ibrox.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have been joined by Neil Lennon’s Celtic in the pursuit of a teenage centre-half, according to The Scottish Sun.
The Sun on Sunday reported that Rangers are among the clubs keen on signing Carlisle United’s Jarrad Branthwaite.
And their Scottish sister paper claims that Branthwaite has, in fact, been watched by both Rangers and Celtic staff.
But what should those of a Rangers and Celtic persuasion know about their shared transfer target?
HITC Sport has the lowdown, below:
Who is he?
A six-foot-four-inch 17-year-old centre-back who is a strong passer and surprisingly weak in aerial duals, according to Who Scored. The website notes that he does not dive into tackles and commits fouls often.
How experienced is he?
Branthwaite only made his first-team debut in mid-October – under the former Rangers and Celtic defender Steven Pressley, who has since been sacked as Carlisle manager – but has appeared seven times since then, starting six successive League Two games.
Who wants him?
As well as Rangers and Celtic, Newcastle United and Southampton have been credited with an interest, although according to Dean Holdsworth, the Carlisle director of football, Branthwaite was attracting attention long before his senior-level breakthrough and there may be others keen.
What’s his situation?
Spotting Branthwaite’s potential, Carlisle tied the Cumbrian to a two-year contract earlier this year, which contains the option of an extension. It means that anyone hoping to prise him away from Brunton Park will struggle to do so cheaply.
Who does he support?
While there is no documented evidence of Branthwaite’s allegiance, a browse through his Twitter profile reveals a number Liverpool-themed likes and retweets (including a video of Gerrard’s top 11 goals). The Reds are the only club, other than Carlisle, currently being followed by the player. Could that yet work in Rangers’ favour?