Reports across the press over the past few days are suggesting that table-topping Liverpool will seek to lure Ross Barkley, Everton’s 20 year-old midfielder across Stanley Park this summer to join the Rodgers revolution at Anfield, and figures in the region of £38million are being bandied around to secure the deal.
Barkley has been earning rave reviews for his performances in the Everton midfield this year, as Roberto Martinez’s side have fought their way into the top four. A possible Champions League qualifying position could now be on the cards. The youngster’s performances have not gone unnoticed by England manager Roy Hodgson either, and Barkley is earmarked for a seat on the ‘plane to Brazil if he can round off his season with more stellar performances.
Brendan Rodgers is thought to be a long-time admirer of the player, and sees him as the ideal candidate to boost the Reds’ midfield for next season, as he continues to build a stronger future at the club. Rodgers will however be less than happy that news of any potential bid has broken. Such news is bound to alert other clubs who have also been keeping a watching brief on Barkley. Both Manchester clubs and Chelsea are admirers of the player and would be keen to participate in any attempts to lure the player away from Goodison Park.
Toffee’s manager Martinez has declared his intention to reject any approaches for Barkley, but if the bidding is around the £38million figure widely being touted around in the press, it may test his resolve. Whilst Barkley may not be over keen to move to Manchester City, as opportunities for first team football may be limited by the star-studded squad assembled by Pellegrini, United’s need is surely greater, and the opportunity to be reunited with ex-manager David Moyes, may also carry an attraction. Chelsea however may hold the trump card as possible rivals to Liverpool for the player’s signature.
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has been a hit at Everton in his season long loan from Chelsea, and Martinez would dearly like to secure his services full time. Tthe fee that Chelsea are likely to demand however is probably beyond the financial reach of the club at the moment. A deal involving Barkley though could pave the way to such a move.
As mentioned Everton will be reluctant to let Barkley leave, but as he continues to progress there will be increased speculation about a move to a different club. In the interim, should Everton continue to progress under Martinez, and qualify for the Champions League, it may just encourage the player to believe his future is best served under the young Spanish manager’s guidance.
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