Gers join race for Cumbrian starlet

Steven Gerrard is keen on Jarrad Brathwaite.

Rangers are among the clubs said to be showing an interest in highly-rated Carlisle United central defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

Branthwaite is just 17 years old but is already earning rave reviews and has caught the attention of a number of clubs throughout the UK with his performances, including the Light Blues.

Gers scouts have been tracking the youngster, who is valued in the region of £1million, but they will face strong competition for his services.

English Premier League sides Newcastle United and Southampton are said to be in the hunt, while Glasgow rivals Celtic have also declared their interest.

Celtic’s director of football Nick Hammond is reported to have made a personal visit to see the defender in action last month, in an attempt to steal a march on their rivals.

However, both Rangers and Celtic could miss out as it has been claimed that Southampton are in the box seat to do a deal for the youngster.

Saints are expected to be very active in the transfer in the January transfer window and have already sounded the League Two side out in regards to a move for Branthwaite.

The youngster has only broken into the Carlisle first team this season but has started the last six games and looks destined for a bright future.

That is the reason that Steven Gerrard is keen to get him on board but he will have to pull out all the stops to do a deal with Southampton said to be leading the way.