Manchester United are planning a £50m swoop for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley in January, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has claimed that he will not let go of his star midfielder even if the Red Devils come in with a world record offer. However, David Moyes, who has worked with the player previously, believes that he can force his former club to sell for a price.
Barkley has been the standout player for the Toffees this season and has taken them into the fourth place, one point above Liverpool after the Reds lost two back-to-back games against Chelsea and Manchester City going into 2014.
The two clubs have been at loggerheads with Moyes keen on reuniting with his former players, having already bought Marouane Fellaini for a £27m fee last summer. The Scotsman was also interested in a move for Leighton Baines but Everton refused to sell. The Red Devils are likely to try again in January, with Patrice Evra failing to live up to expectations this season.
However, Barkley remains their prime target, who has scored three outstanding goals this season and has been the main catalyst behind Everton's resurgence. Martinez is reportedly quite pleased with his improvement and is expected to do everything in his power to stop him from moving to Manchester.
"Ross is in a moment of his career where first, he knows that he needs to carry on developing and this is the perfect place to do that. Second, he is a mad Evertonian and enjoying every single second. And third, we are in the middle of a season where we would never, ever consider disrupting what we have got in our squad now," Martinez said earlier in the month.
"It is not the right time for the player or the club to consider anything. Even if we got a Gareth Bale-size valuation we would never even consider it in January," he concluded.