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Arsenal Transfer News: Ross Barkley £50M Price Tag Reported Amid Gunners Link

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Ross Barkley of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on May 12, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Everton will reportedly demand £50 million if they are to sell Arsenal target Ross Barkley in the summer as he continues to stall on penning a new contract at Goodison Park.

According to Chris Bascombe in The Telegraph, the Toffees have placed a £50 million price tag on the England international despite the player having just over a year remaining on his current deal.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman recently demanded Barkley make his decision soon on whether he will sign a new deal and said the 23-year-old will be sold if he does not put pen to paper, per Squawka:

Squawka News @SquawkaNews

Ronald Koeman on Ross Barkley's contract situation: "We need an answer before the end of next week or we will sell the player." https://t.co/ApmMYngORG

Per Bascombe, Tottenham Hotspur are the front-runners to sign the playmaker should he leave Merseyside.

But MailOnline's Simon Jones reported Arsenal's interest in Barkley earlier this month, as well as that of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Jones also added, though, that Barkley's potential motivation to leave his boyhood club is to play UEFA Champions League football, which may not be available with the Gunners next season, per the Associated Press' Rob Harris:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

How Arsenal can make the top 4 on Calculator Sunday https://t.co/SzAVfN7E4R

Barkley has enjoyed a decent season in 2016-17, regularly combining well with Romelu Lukaku and returning five goals and eight assists in the Premier League, per WhoScored.com.

Traditionally a No. 10 but versatile enough to also operate a little deeper or on the flanks, the Everton youth graduate could be a useful addition at the Emirates Stadium.

He could also benefit hugely from working under Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who has a fine history of building on potential.

However, if Barkley was left to choose between Tottenham and Arsenal, the Gunners may miss out given how young Englishmen Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Dele Alli are faring under Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino at the moment.

It may be, though, that the numerous high-profile suitors linked with Barkley are put off by a £50 million price tag.

Barkley is a talent, but he has never reached double figures for goals or assists in a single Premier League season and could theoretically be available for free next summer. 

Everton will be counting on a bidding war working in their favour if Barkley does not sign a new deal, but Arsenal and others may benefit from holding back until the Toffees lower their asking price.

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