It could be déjà-vu for Everton fans, with the Toffees facing the prospect of losing another key man to Manchester City. In the summer, it was John Stones who left for the Etihad, and now the bookies think Ross Barkley could follow suit.
In the wake of reports that Everton will consider bids for the midfielder, it’s just 11/4 for the Citizens to be his next employers, with a host of other Premier League heavyweights jostling for the 23-year-old’s signature.
The Liverpudlian has continued to impress at Goodison Park this season, with a series of tenacious and creative displays. He’s also found the net three times already, while it was Barkley’s assist which gifted Ashley Williams his winner against Arsenal on Tuesday night.
Those performances are believed to have greatly impressed Jose Mourinho, with the Manchester United boss 7/2 to snap up the England international, while the Special One’s former club Chelsea are next up at 5/1.
That leaves Arsenal (8/1), Tottenham (16/1) and the Toffees’ fierce local rivals Liverpool (16/1) to round out the betting.
But whoever wins this transfer battle, our traders reckon it could be over sooner rather than later, with 5/2 for the local lad to exit Everton in January.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “The betting suggests Barkley will soon be heading down the East Lancs road, with a turn off for the Etihad narrowly favoured over Old Trafford. Should he snub Manchester for a move south, Chelsea appear to be in pole position.”
Before the January sales start and the race for Barkley intensifies, Pep Guardiola will be hoping his side can deliver a belated Christmas present at Hull City on Boxing Day.
It’s 7/20 for the visitors to return home with a sackful of points, while it’s 14/1 for City to repeat the 4-1 mauling they dished out to the Tigers during the last meeting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing