Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly set to lock horns for Everton teenage sensation Ross Barkley.
The midfielder has impressed with the Toffees so far this season, starting all four Premier League matches. The 19-year-old's performances also earned him a call-up to the England squad for last week's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
Chelsea and United have been monitoring Barkley of late and, according to the Express and the Metro, the Premier League heavyweights are now considering making an approach, either in January or next summer.
United manager David Moyes already signed Belgium star Marouane Fellaini from his former club on transfer deadline day but the Scot is understood to be still keen on addressing the lack of creativity in central midfield; something which Barkley has been providing at Everton this season.
Chelsea, on the other hand, sees the player as a long-term replacement for the club's veteran midfielder Frank Lampard. The Blues' admiration for Barkley only increased at Goodison Park on Saturday, as the youngster played a crucial role in his team's 1-0 win over the west London outfit.
The report claims both clubs value the teenager at around £20m. However, luring him away from Everton will not be an easy task, as the Toffees and their fans see the player as the most prodigious talent their academy has produced since Wayne Rooney. Also, it is understood that the midfielder wants to continue working with new manager Roberto Martinez, who gave him regular first-team chances straightaway.
Meanwhile, Everton defender Phil Jagielka admitted he was impressed by the way Barkley has adapted to life in the Premier League and with the England team, following his first call-up to the senior side.
"He's quite a quiet lad and doesn't talk that much but on the pitch he just enjoys playing. But Ross just takes it in his stride and loves playing football. He gets on the training ground and does his thing. I don't think he realises how good he is half the time. It is so natural and refreshing to watch. He's really enjoyed being with the squad and that's what you love to see, especially with a young lad," Jagielka pointed out.
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