LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Ross Barkley of Everton in action with Bruno of Villarreal during the pre season friendly match between Everton and Villarreal at Goodison Park on August 5, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Manchester United appear set for a raid on Everton FC for their 17-year-old wonder kid Ross Barkley, according to reports. It has been rumored that just last week, prior to the closing of the summer transfer window, United attempted to acquire Barkley in exchange for both cash and Darron Gibson. The latest rumor is that Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson will once again go to Everton boss David Moyes in January and attempt to acquire the young midfielder.
Barkley broke into the Everton first team this season when he made his debut against Queens Park Rangers in their season opener. In addition, the 17-year-old has also been added to England's U-21 squad and made his debut on Sunday in a match versus Israel. According to his FA profile page, Barkley is "a robust and clever midfield player, who seems to have that precious habit of arriving in the opposition box with perfect timing to both score and set up goals himself."
Obviously, if the youngster is as talented as many are saying, then this possible acquisition would certainly be good business for United. However, he is only 17-years-old and time will reveal his quality and potential this season. With the departure of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal FC, Barkley should be able to find regular playing time at Goodison Park over the upcoming months. I would not doubt that Fergie would have interest in such a promising talent, however, Barkley's teammate Jack Rodwell is a good example on how quickly one's stock can drop. While Rodwell may still have a bright future, it has been understood that Fergie lost interest in him when he failed to show improvement over the past year. If Barkley continues to provide standout performances into the Winter, then it certainly would not be shocking to see Fergie swoop in for the young midfielder.
Read after the jump to see what teammates Louis Saha and Phil Neville have to say about Barkley...
Saha on Barkley: