Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will be hoping to see his side improve when they face Brentford on Saturday.
The Red Devils have endured a dismal start to the season, losing four of their seven Premier League matches to leave them tenth in the top flight table.
United were also beaten 3-2 by Galatasaray in their second Champions League group stage game on Tuesday, following a 4-3 defeat against Bayern Munich a fortnight ago.
Despite their poor performances, Ten Hag is believed to have retained the full support of those in charge of the club.
Now, though, it appears that the former Ajax boss has been handed another huge blow.
As reported by The Mirror, United target Jarrad Branthwaite is close to signing a new long-term contract with Everton.
Toffees boss Sean Dyche has revealed that the defender is in advanced talks to extend his current deal, which would likely rule out the possibility of the player joining the Manchester club.
United are said to be one of several clubs that are interested in Branthwaite, who has enjoyed a successful start to the new season despite Everton’s poor results.
The 21-year-old has started Everton’s last five Premier League games and has impressed with his individual performances, but his form hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Branthwaite has made 19 senior appearances for Everton since joining the Toffees from boyhood club Carlisle United in 2020.
He spent time on loan at Blackburn Rovers two years ago, and was also sent on loan to Dutch side PSV Eindhoven last term.
During his time with the Eredivisie side, the centre-back made 36 appearances across all competitions, scoring four goals and providing two assists.
Branthwaite’s current contract is set to expire in 2025, but those in charge of Everton are keen to tie him down to a long-term deal.