Barkley wouldn’t be first Blue to turn Red as Liverpool plan transfer
Premier League title favourites Liverpool (8/11) are being linked with a sensational swoop for Ross Barkley from bitter Merseyside rivals Everton, in a £38m move that would break their transfer record.
Following the Reds’ success this campaign, they are likely to be given a sizeable transfer kitty to bolster their somewhat thin squad, so that they can challenge in all competitions next term. Brendan Rodgers is reportedly a big admirer of the Everton youngster.
Barkley, 20, has shone for the Toffees this season playing in all but three league appearances for them so far, primarily in attacking midfield. His performances have also reportedly attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea and both Manchester clubs, so there is likely to be a summer tussle for the England international.
Everton and boss Roberto Martinez have recently stated, however, they will not sell their prized asset, who has scored six times this season in all competitions, but, if the money is right, surely chairman Bill Kenwright cannot refuse.
The club have always worked on a tight budget, and the money would be a great help to perhaps securing permanent deals for current loanees Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, as well as bringing in more talent.
Martinez has masterminded the club to fourth place in the league so far with just five games to go. They are two points ahead of Arsenal and are 11/10 shots to finish in the top four. The Spaniard’s chances of keeping Barkley would surely be enhanced if they were to be playing Champions League football next season.
Despite Barkley being an Everton fan, the likes of Liverpool legends Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and Ian Rush were all boyhood Toffees supporters. Even a young Steven Gerrard has been seen dressed in a full blue kit.
It would also not be the first time a Toffee had transferred to the Red half of the city. It has happened many times before, but only twice after 1959, and not since 2002 when Portuguese defender Abel Xavier made a £750,000 move.
Barkley, who has three international caps to his name, is odds-on to make Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad this summer at 4/9.
England have been placed in Group D, along with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica, and are third-favourites both to finish top (2/1) and qualify (8/15).
Another Everton youngster, meanwhile, is being linked with a move elsewhere. Former Barnsley defender John Stones, who has been highly impressive this season, is a rumoured target of Londoners Arsenal and Chelsea.