Report: Everton midfielder Ross Barkley being targeted by Manchester United; swap deal suggested

Everton's Ross Barkley shoots at goal

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is on Manchester United's radar, and a report has suggested that a potential swap deal could be discussed.

Ross Barkley celebrates scoring the third goal for EvertonRoss Barkley

A report in the Sunday Mirror has suggested that Manchester United have joined the race to sign Everton midfielder Ross Barkley this summer two years after Jose Mourinho tried to bring the playmaker to Chelsea.

The Mirror reports that Tottenham were seemingly the favourites for his signature, but Mourinho - who saw a £35 million bid for Barkley rejected when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge - is hoping to scupper Spurs' plans by luring the England international to Old Trafford.

The Mirror suggests that the Toffees may feel forced into selling the 23-year-old this summer with his contract at Goodison Park set to begin its final year, and it appears that United may have a slight advantage over Tottenham in the chase.

Everton are keen to bring Wayne Rooney back to Merseyside this summer, and the Mirror suggests that a potential swap deal could be on the cards with the Toffees also earning a sizeable fee from the deal.

Manchester United's Wayne RooneyManchester United's Wayne Rooney

The potential for that kind of transfer to happen perhaps puts pressure on Spurs to make a significant-enough offer that appeals to Everton as much as a Rooney-plus-cash offer may do. 

That would surely then leave Barkley to make his own mind up. And while Everton may perhaps want to steer him towards United if it meant Rooney came the other way, Barkley would certainly be forgiven for thinking that joining Mauricio Pochettino's side is the more attractive opportunity at this current stage.

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