Blues and United target unfazed by interest

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Teenage sensation Ross Barkley is unfazed by reported interest in his signature from Chelsea and Manchester United, Everton assistant-manager Steve Round has claimed.

The 17-year-old's future at Goodison Park has become the subject of intense speculation since the Daily Mirror reported that Chelsea were considering a £20 million bid for the midfielder.

However, Round says Barkley can cope with the increased attention.

"Ross is very level-headed," he commented. "It's just speculation, he knows that."

Chelsea are alleged to have made an informal approach for Barkley during the summer, but were told by David Moyes to stay away.

It has since been suggested that Chelsea will return with a substantial formal offer in January as Andre Villas-Boas attempts to further reinforce his Stamford Bridge ranks.


United, meanwhile, have been linked with Barkley for a number of months, with their reported interest increasing since the England under-21 international broke into the Everton first-team.

An offer from Chelsea in the new year could hasten Sir Alex Ferguson to formalise this admiration in an attempt to keep Barkley from the clutches of United's Barclays Premier League rivals.

The United boss has recently made a concerted effort to invest in youth, with the summer acquisitions of Phil Jones and David De Gea following Chris Smalling's move to Old Trafford.

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