Glasgow Rangers and Celtic were reportedly vying to bring highly-rated teenage defender Jarrad Branthwaite to either Ibrox or Parkhead.
The News and Star reported last month that Steven Gerrard's Gers and Neil Lennon's Hoops sent scouts to watch the versatile 17-year-old - who can play both in defence and midfield - impress during Carlisle United’s 1-1 draw with Morecambe in English League Two.
However, Branthwaite will not be plying his trade in Scotland as Everton have officially secured his signature, with the Daily Mail reporting that a £1million fee has changed hands between the Toffees and the Cumbrians.
The Mail added that Everton finalised talks with Carlisle following the acceptance of the seven-figure fee after having a £500,000 bid rejected earlier this month, and the teenager will now link up with the Goodison Park side's Under-23s.
What seemed to have swayed it for Branthwaite was the "pathway" offered by Everton with regards to their youth players, the "unbelievable" facilities at Finch Farm, and the prospect of learning from Everton Under-23s manager David Unsworth, an accomplished defender in his day (official Everton website).
Carlisle manager Chris Beech previously made a comparison between Branthwaite and Declan Rice and Michael Carrick, two composed and classy ball-players who could switch between defence and midfield roles with relative ease (News and Star).
"I look at people like Declan Rice, and Michael Carrick, who’ve played a little bit of both," said Beech. "Jarrad has the capabilities of doing both... he’s played left side, right side, in a three under the previous management, and as a No4 at Morecambe. He is an excellent football player."
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