Everton loanee Royston Drenthe has joined the growing list of Ross Barkley admirers.
The England youth international has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks, with claims in various national newspapers that Sir Alex Ferguson had held preliminary talks with the Merseysiders over a £15 million move.
The 17-year-old has burst onto the scene at Goodison Park this summer, making three appearances in the Barclays Premier League thus far. Drenthe made his Toffees debut at the weekend, and has already let Barkley know he thinks he has a big future ahead.
“Ross has good quality, and I told him that before we played together when we were in training," said the Real Madrid midfielder.
“He was asking me about Real Madrid and I said that at this age, he has to play football and not think too much, just to be patient, work hard in training, and everything will come good.”
Manchester United invested heavily in youth this summer, bringing Phil Jones and David de Gea to Old Trafford alongside England international winger Ashley Young.
Ferguson has also thrown several academy products into the Red Devils' senior side at the start of the season, with Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck getting their chance at Manchester United this term.
Barkley would add another young dimension to the Manchester United ranks, and would be following in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney were he to make the move to the English champions.