The latest rumour off the press is one which is enough to turn the stomach of any Everton fan, but thanks to their team’s super-impressive season, Ross Barkley should be going absolutely nowhere.
One national newspaper has reported that Merseyside rivals Liverpool are set to steam in with a £38m bid for their most coveted asset this summer.
However, whether or not there is any meat on the bones of this speculation shouldn’t really matter to the Toffees faithful, as 20-year-old Barkley should have no reason to head for the Goodison Park exit door and divide a city in the process.
Everton are in pole position to break into the top-four spots for only the second time in the Premier League era, giving Barkley no cause to seek better fortunes across Stanley Park or anywhere else.
It’s going to be a fight until the end with fifth-place Arsenal, but having defeated them with relative ease at Goodison recently the wind is firmly in Everton sails, where Roberto Martinez’s exciting side look great value at 11/10 to end the Gunners top-four monopoly.
When a certain 18-year-old named Wayne Rooney left the Everton bosom to join Manchester United, the precocious teenager’s head was clearly turned by the prospect of Champions League football.
As much as Everton fans protested over losing such a special talent as Rooney, the benefit of hindsight would say the England man probably made the right move as his boyhood club had just finished 17th.
The current circumstances couldn’t be any different for the Blue half of Merseyside, though, as Martinez has produced the most complete Everton side of the Premier League era and Barkley is an essential part of that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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