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It has been inevitable that the burgeoning talent of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley would see the youngster linked with arguably bigger Premier League clubs.
Manchester United were reported to be an interested party at the tail end of 2013 (per Manchester Evening News) and now Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph says the sale of Juan Mata to Old Trafford is part of a long-term move by Chelsea for Barkley.
This intriguing piece of news for both sets of Blues supporters will have come as a surprise in Thursday's newspapers, but those of a Goodison Park persuasion should not worry just yet.
The 20-year-old has earned plaudits this season for his performances for Everton after being handed a regular first-team start by Roberto Martinez.
Under former Everton boss David Moyes, the midfielder found those opportunities at a minimum, and he found himself out on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United when many Toffees fans believed he should have been playing a part last season.
Moyes, though, has moved on and Barkley is thriving under the former Wigan boss.
It is little wonder that his displays have caught the attention of Stamford Bridge manager Jose Mourinho.
Ironically, though, it is another name linked with Mourinho and Chelsea which will ensure Barkley does not leave Goodison just yet; Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United forward was the subject of a £25.6 million transfer in August 2004 as Sir Alex Ferguson targeted the then 18-year-old for his team.
Rooney has never been forgiven for quitting Everton by supporters for leaving the club at such a tender age, particularly after the striker displayed a "Once a Blue, always a Blue" vest under his royal blue jersey after scoring in 2002 per Daily Mail.
Even Ferguson admitted in 2011 that Rooney is viewed as "a traitor" by Everton fans, via BBC Sport.
And Barkley has also been advised by a surprising source that he should never leave the Blues, as Dominic King of the Daily Mail reported in September.
And if anyone should know about rejecting the advances of Mourinho and Chelsea, it is Steven Gerrard, per BBC Sport.
The Chelsea boss would be facing an uphill struggle to convince either Barkley or Everton to play ball on this one.
Believability factor: Very low
Everton will have learned from the loss of Rooney 10 years ago, and the financial troubles which ensured United's offer was accepted have eased in recent times.
But the warning signs are there for the Goodison Park club where Barkley is concerned, and they will be ready for the inevitable attentions of larger clubs, with the midfielder tipped to make his mark at the World Cup finals in the same way Rooney announced his presence on a global stage at Euro 2004.
However, Barkley himself will realise that it is Martinez who has gifted him the chance to shine this season and the player is also finding adulation among his fellow Evertonians as the team flourishes under the new style of play employed by the Spaniard.
That in itself should act as the heartiest of commendations to stay, at least for the next few years.
But links with Chelsea are not going to harm negotiations over a potential new Everton deal.