Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Ross Barkley Targeted for £50 Million Bid

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Ross Barkley of Everton competes with Steven Davis of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on December 29, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

David Moyes will again look to his old club for squad recruitment this winter after it emerged that the Manchester United boss is interested in striking a big-money move for Everton's Ross Barkley.

It was only four months ago that the Scot sealed a late-summer reunion with his biggest Toffees signing Marouane Fellaini, but Moyes is now entering the hunt for the club's most prodigious talent.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  David Moyes manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and  Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 28, 2013 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Ge
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Barkley has shot to stardom at Goodison Park this season, making 15 starts under Roberto Martinez and scoring three goals, per

James Robson of the Manchester Evening News has reported that the Red Devils are now preparing a £50 million swoop for the England international.

An excerpt from Mathieson's report reads:

United – who made a last-ditch attempt to sign Bale before his summer move to Real Madrid – do not want to miss out on another superstar of British football.

They believe a bid of £50m will be enough to get Everton around the negotiating table – but the Premier League champions also know there will be plenty of bridge-building if there is any chance of a deal being done.

The fee mentioned is almost twice the £27.5 million paid for Fellaini's services over the summer, with the Belgian yet to have the desired impact at Old Trafford and currently out of action after having surgery on his wrist.

SWANSEA, WALES - DECEMBER 22:  Ross Barkley of Evertonin action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Everton at the Liberty Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It was just last week that Martinez was quoted by Andy Hunter of The Guardian saying that Barkley wasn't for sale at any price.

Heaping praise on his starlet, the Spaniard said:

Ross is in a moment of his career where first, he knows that he needs to carry on developing and this is the perfect place to do that. Second, he is a mad Evertonian and enjoying every single second. And third, we are in the middle of a season where we would never, ever consider disrupting what we have got in our squad now.

The Times' Tony Barrett backs up some of Martinez's statement, convinced that the 20-year-old's apparent passion for being a success at his boyhood club could be enough to see him turn down any United advance:

Barkley's contributions are part of the reason that the Toffees currently sit three points and two places ahead of United in the Premier League table, only further answering the query as to why Barkley would leave his current setting.

The youngster is in the process of breaking into Roy Hodgson's England squad and would by no means be hoping to spoil any chances of earning a place in the team that flies to Brazil.

For now, at least, it doesn't seem as if money will be sufficient to lure Barkley, whose sentiment for Everton may ultimately reign above all else.

However, United would likely use Wayne Rooney's global success as an example of what Barkley might achieve if he swaps Goodison Park for Old Trafford.