Napoli and Everton stars 'respond' to Man Utd transfer speculation

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Two reported transfer targets have responded to speculation linking them with a move to Manchester United.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite has responded to speculation linking him with a big money move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window.

The Toffees centre-back has been one of the few positives of what has been an extremely challenging season for Sean Dyche’s side as they battle against relegation from the Premier League.  Branthwaite returned to Goodison Park at the end of last season after spending time on loan at Blackburn Rovers and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in recent years.

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His form during the latter of those loan spells has carried into his return to Merseyside as the former Carlisle United academy defender has made 34 appearances in all competitions and that earned him a maiden call-up to the senior England squad last month - although he was denied a first cap after being an unused substitute for friendlies against Belgium and Brazil.

Branthwaite is reportedly one of several players on the Red Devils radar as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his new look Old Trafford hierarchy look to make a big impact during the first transfer window of their time at the club.  However, the Everton defender has insisted his sole focus remains on helping his side preserve their Premier League status, rather than getting involved in what may lie ahead of him in the future.

Speaking after the Toffees win against Burnley on said, he said: “You have just got to block it all out. I think if you focus on the outside stuff, you get distracted from what you need to do on the pitch.  For me now, until the end of the season, I am just focussed on winning games for Everton Football Club.

Serie A target ‘ready to deal’ with United

Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo is set the make a decision over his future after being the subject of reported interest from Manchester United and Aston Villa.

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Italian daily Il Mattino have reported both United and Villa are monitoring the 30-year-old defender and there have been strong suggestions he could leave the Serie A club during the summer transfer window.  The report claims the Napoli skipper is ‘seriously thinking’ about his future and is ‘ready to deal’ with either Premier League club as he assesses the next step in his career.

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