Roberto Martinez jokes Man United have bid £50m for Ross Barkley following Liverpool speculation

Everton manager Roberto Martinez today laughed off speculation that midfielder Ross Barkley was to be the target of a £38 million bid from bitter rivals Liverpool.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, a smiling Martinez said, “In terms of speculation we already turned down a £50 million bid from (Manchester) United so we’re not going to take £38 million from Liverpool.”

He added, “I think speculation is quite enjoyable and that it shows how well our players our doing.”

Barkley has had a breakthrough season in the Everton first team, producing a series of impressive performances against the league’s top teams, which many suspect has already booked him a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup.

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