Everton strong contenders to sign Man Utd star Brandon Williams with negotiations ‘live’

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Manchester United defender Brandon Williams has emerged as a January target for Everton, according to reports. The 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent weeks, with a number of clubs in the Premier League and across Europe said to be keen on securing his signature this month.

As many as four sides from England’s top flight, including high-flyers Southampton and Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United, are believed to be harbouring loan interest in Williams along with Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, who are weighing up a move to land the defender on a permanent basis.

The Athletic has claimed that Everton have recently joined the race to sign Williams, with the Toffees looking to offer the prospect of regular first-team football as the youngster aims to secure his place in the England under-21 squad for this year’s European Championships.

The report states that the situation regarding Everton’s interest is ‘live’.

However, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be eager to keep the defender at the club ahead of the Europa League knockout stages later in the campaign.

As a result, the Red Devils have told all interested parties that Williams remains a part of their immediate plans for now.

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He has struggled for game time in the Premier League this season, playing just six minutes in the competition with Solskjaer preferring to deploy Luke Shaw or Alex Telles at left-back.

The youngster was given regular first-team opportunities throughout the previous campaign, making 36 appearances in all competitions for the 20-time English champions.

Williams is expected to feature for the club in Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash with Watford at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer revealed last month that reports of interest in the 20-year-old from elsewhere have failed to surprise him, given the strong impact he has made since breaking into the side.

Although the United boss conceded that Williams has struggled in recent months, he claimed the defender is not too far away from a return to form.

“Brandon has done really well since he came into the team,” Solskjaer told the club website. “He had a slow start to the season for different reasons. I think he’s now coming back to himself.

“I can see more Brandon being Brandon again. I’ve enjoyed seeing him, I’ve enjoyed him more in training, he’s played a couple of under-23 games and has been more involved.

When quizzed on the speculation surrounding Williams, Solskjaer said: “That’s something we’ll look at in January, but we highly rate Brandon so whoever’s interested, they’re not wrong.”

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