• Premier League

Barkley in line for bumper Everton deal

ESPN staff
December 12, 2013
Ross Barkley has cemented himself in the Everton first team this season © PA Photos

Ross Barkley is set to be offered a bumper new deal by Everton as Roberto Martinez looks to ward off interest in the midfielder from the Premier League elite, according to the Telegraph.

Everton are hoping to discuss an extension with Barkley, 20, and his representatives in January, with a pay rise to match his emergence as one of the most highly-rated young players in England. Barkley has two years left to run on a long-term deal he signed with the club shortly before turning 18.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all believed to be monitoring Barkley, who shone against Arsene Wenger's side in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Martinez labelled Barkley "unique" after that particular performance, and described him as a cross between Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne.

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Barkley's recent displays will have put him at the forefront of Roy Hodgson's mind for a place on the plane to the World Cup in Brazil. This season, Barkley has made three England appearances as a substitute and is expected to be involved in the friendly against Denmark in March.

Everton are also set to open discussions over improved deals with Leighton Baines and Sylvain Distin. United failed with two bids for Baines in the summer, while Distin will be offered a 12-month extension with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

"As you can imagine, we're always working behind the scenes to reward youngsters who are doing really well at the club, and Ross is clearly in that category," Martinez said. "There's nothing to announce. The moment we've got anything to announce, the fans will be the first ones to know.

"But even when you don't speak about issues, we're working really hard behind the scenes to make sure that the youngsters get rewarded. Clearly, Ross deserves that."

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