Everton have signed 17-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle for what the League Two club say is a “substantial fee” with future bonuses and performance-related clauses.
The teenager has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and will link up with David Unsworth’s U23s.
Branthwaite watched the young Blues in action against Arsenal at Haig Avenue on Monday evening.
Speaking about his move, Branthwaite said:
“The pathway is superb – that’s what made me want to join Everton.
“I’ve seen those players get their chance in the first team and do well.
“I just can’t wait to get started. Everton is a big club and I’m buzzing to be here.
“The facilities at USM Finch Farm are unbelievable. I like everything about the place.
“I want to settle in, get to know all the boys and put in some good performances for the Under-23s.
“My long-term goal, 100 per cent, is to play for Everton first team in front of the great crowds at Goodison. That would be my dream.”
The Toffees are believed to have had an opening bid worth around £500,000 rejected last week, with Carlisle holding out for in excess of £1million.
Though the terms of the deal have not been revealed, Everton’s revised offer was believed to be in the region of £900,000.
Branthwaite made his senior debut in October and has gone on to make 12 appearances, scoring once.
Though Everton are currently banned from signing Academy players until November, they were able to bring in Branthwaite as he was signed to professional terms.