Everton target the Champions League in order to keep England midfielder.
The Blues are understood to have identified Barkley as their long-term successor to Juan Mata, who has signed for Manchester United in a £37m deal.
The midfielder has made 21 appearances for Everton this season, scoring four goals, and is expected to travel with England to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Everton, however, see Barkley as a key player around which they can build a side. They want to offer him a new deal, but negotiations have not yet begun. According to The Independent, Everton’s ability to keep him may rest on whether they qualify for next season’s Champions League, which would ‘revolutionise the finances of the club.”
If they do make the top four, Everton will feel confident of securing Barkley’s long-term services. They currently sit fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
The Independent also report that after beating Liverpool to Mohamed Salah, Chelsea could be on course to derail Manchester United’s move for Inter Milan’s Fredy Guarin.
Having signed Mata from Chelsea, United manager David Moyes is keen to move for Guarin, and an injury to Michael Carrick has only added to United’s urgency.
Guarin is one of Europe’s most exciting midfielders, an explosive box-to-box player. Any move by United for the Colombian, who is valued at around £10m, could see United striker Javier Hernandez moving in the opposite direction.
Chelsea, however, could be set to throw another spanner into the works. The Independent reports that with Guarin’s swap deal with Juventus’s Mirko Vucinic falling through, Guarin’s agent has been instructed to find his a player a club, and fast.
That could open the door for Chelsea, say the paper, who have £37m in their pockets from Mata’s sale to United, and could nip in to sign Guarin on the cheap.
It is a mouth-watering prospect for Chelsea, who would not only be acquiring a world-class talent to further enhance their Premier League challenge, but would have the satisfaction of denying both United and Liverpool their primary transfer targets in the space of a few days.