Man United preparing £50m bid for Everton starlet Ross Barkley [Manchester Evening News]

After the last summer transfer window where Manchester United seemingly made noises about signing every decent midfielder in Spain, we could be set for another month of David Moyes chasing players to beef up his squad in January.

The Manchester Evening News have splashed on Monday with the claim that “Ross Barkley is at the top of David Moyes’ New Year wish list.”

According to Stuart Mathieson, “The United manager is determined to be at the head of the queue for Everton’s in-demand starlet. Roberto Martinez insists that not even a Gareth Bale-sized bid of £86m would be enough to prise the 20-year-old away from Goodison Park – but the Merseysiders are bracing themselves for a host of big-money offers in January.”

Mathieson adds: “United – who made a last-ditch attempt to sign Bale before his summer move to Real Madrid – do not want to miss out on another superstar of British football. They believe a bid of £50m will be enough to get Everton around the negotiating table – but the Premier League champions also know there will be plenty of bridge-building if there is any chance of a deal being done.”

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has said on a number of occasions that Everton will not be selling Ross Barkley and fees for the young English midfielder are tipped to be close or even beat the price Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale from Spurs last summer.

Manchester United boss David Moyes does have an advantage in that he has worked with Ross Barkley before and was very supportive of the youngster when he suffered serious injury.

However, we would be super surprised if Manchester United could pull off this transfer coup in the January transfer window.

Especially, with Everton still holding realistic hope of finishing in the top four. And with Bill Kenwright and Roberto Martinez smarting after Marouane Fellaini left for Old Trafford in the summer. Not to mention the constant unsettling of Leighton Baines.

After all, the Toffees are currently three points ahead of Man United at the current time!

The Manchester Evening News also moot a United move for Yohan Cabaye, this would be much more likely to succeed…

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