Liverpool are considering a bid to smash their transfer record with a staggering £38 million offer for Everton’s Ross Barkley, according to a report in The Star.
Barkley has gained attention through his high quality performances for Everton this season, where he has scored five goals and played a major part in their challenge for a Champions League place.
His performances have seen him linked with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea over the course of the season, as the 20-year-old looks set to be a part of Roy Hodgson's England squad that travels to Brazil for the World Cup in June.
The last time Liverpool broke their transfer record was in January 2011, where they recruited the services on Andy Carroll from Newcastle United for £35 million, and are reportedly set to bid even more for Barkley.
Carroll failed to produce the goals expected of him during his time on Merseyside, and was eventually sold to West Ham United last summer for around £15 million, a £20 million loss on what Liverpool paid.
Any deal that took place could see Barkley join the potential Champions of England this summer. Liverpool took one step closer to their first Premier League title on Sunday as they beat Manchester City 3-2 at Anfield.
Whether Everton would accept the proposed bid is another matter, fourth place and qualification to the Champions League would see the Toffees keen to hold on to their best players, as they look to go one better in Europe under Roberto Martinez than they did David Moyes back in 2005.
Barkley’s attacking prowess and glorious goals in an Everton shirt have made him one of the most popular young players in the Premier League, and the youngster offers a breath of fresh air to the perception that home-grown talent is lacking at the top level.
Barkley is sure to be one of England’s brightest talents for years to come, but where he eventually ends up playing his club football long-term may determine the number of honours he achieves. He may well have to make a choice between the red and the blue half of Merseyside.