Rivals Spurs are also in the running to compete with the Gunners
What’s the story?
With time running out in the summer transfer window, Arsenal are looking within the Premier League and have identified Ross Barkley from Everton as a potential signing as the north London club looks to strengthen their squad before the transfer deadline.
According to Mirror, both the Gunners and arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur could look to seal a deal before the 11 PM deadline. Chelsea already had a £25m bid for the 23-year-old turned down on Wednesday.
In case you didn’t know…
Barkley’s current contract runs out in 2018. With only a year to go and no signs of a contract extension on the horizon, the Toffees are willing to let him go for the right price.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman had also mentioned in July that the club expected Barkley to leave as he had declined a new contract.
“We made a good offer of a contract. He declined. Ross told me at the end of the season he wanted another challenge” – Koeman in July
The heart of the matter
When Chelsea’s bid were rejected, they were reportedly told they had to come up with £50m. However, with no club willing to pay so much for the English midfielder, the Merseyside club could soften their stance and allow him to leave for £30m instead of releasing him for free next summer.
Arsenal are also looking to strengthen their midfield, especially after losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool. Contrary to Wenger’s belief that he was certain to stay, the Englishman sealed a £35m move to Anfield after failing to develop at Arsenal.
A look at Barkley’s strengths and it’s clear why he could suit a club like Arsenal. He has strong dribbling skills, is a neat passer of the ball and can shoot from distance given the chance.
With Santi Cazorla nowhere close to recovering from an injury he sustained last year and Jack Wilshere possibly leaving the club, Barkley could reinforce Arsenal’s midfield.
His presence would also help fulfil the homegrown quota since Kieran Gibbs has also moved on to West Bromwich Albion while Carl Jenkinson has moved to Birmingham City.