At the ripe old age of 36, Gareth Barry remains instrumental for Everton. So much so that the Daily Mail claims The Toffees will offer him a one-year contract extension with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.
The former England international’s undisputed place in the starting XI may come under more threat than ever with Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gana Gueye more energetic options at the base of Everton’s midfield but manager Ronald Koeman is a fervent admirer of his passing ability and leadership skills.
Therefore, Tony Pulis’ desire to add Barry to a West Brom squad teeming with Premier League know-how looks certain to end in disappointment.
The Express and Star claim that The Baggies were willing to offer the former Manchester City metronome a two-year contract in a remarkable show of faith. But the Mirror reports that they have identified an alternative with Everton seemingly unwilling to let Barry fight for more regular first-team opportunities elsewhere.
The report claims that Pulis has turned his attention towards Hull City’s Sam Clucas, a player who thrived in the Premier League last season despite The Tigers eventually succumbing to an immediate return to the Championship.
The 26-year-old won Hull’s Player of the Year award, earning plenty of admiration for his tenacious performances in midfield while also filling in at left-back, a position where West Brom are extremely light, when required.
Hull are likely to play hardball over the future of one of their key men as they seek to challenge for the top six again this season, knocking back an offer of £5 million from Burnley according to the Hull Daily Mail.
“Sam Clucas is the leader of our team, he’s a key player,” manager Leonid Slutsky said. “He’s vice captain and he has unbelievable potential to develop.”