Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Ross Barkley Chase Heats Up

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Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Ross Barkley Chase Heats Up
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Everton's Ross Barkley, center, is reportedly a transfer target of both Manchester United and Chelsea.

Speculation over the future of Ross Barkley is heating up.

Barkley, a 17-year-old English midfielder, has broken into the first team at Everton and is now attracting attention from two of the Premier League's biggest spenders.

Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly shown interest, with the latter allegedly ready to offer £20 million in the January transfer window.

Everton, of course, is saying it doesn't want to sell its young star. Manager David Moyes tells the Liverpool Echo that he wants to build a new Everton around his young stars.

Neither Chelsea's interest nor Moyes' plans have stopped Manchester United fans from getting excited. How excited? Check out this forum thread discussing the possibility of Barkley becoming the next Wayne Rooney.

So who is Ross Barkley?

Here's what the Manchester Evening News wrote:

Barklay (sic) is a 6ft 2in box-to-box goalscoring, powerful midfielder in the Bryan Robson mould.

But with Sir Alex Ferguson a keen advocate of versatility in his young players, the Reds boss has noted the teenager can also play in defence and attack.

The Liverpudlian has broken through into Everton’s first team this term playing in all three of their opening Premier League and Carling Cup matches.

Robson, as most readers will remember, starred for Manchester United from 1981-94, scoring 74 league goals in 345 league appearances. He also earned 90 England caps, scoring 26 times.

If Manchester United does move for Barkley, it wouldn't be the first time manager Sir Alex Ferguson has raided the Goodison Park club. In 2004, United splashed £25 million for Wayne Rooney in the summer 2004 transfer window.

One significant difference between Rooney and Barkley right now is that Rooney had already made his full England debut by the time United signed him. Barkley, who turns 18 in December, has represented England at the U-16, -17, -19 and -21 levels but not yet as a full international.

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