Manchester United and Manchester City will battle for the services of highly-rated Everton starlet Ross Barkley in January, according to the Daily Star.

Recent reports have suggested that Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is preparing to offer a lucrative new deal to keep hold on the England youngster, but it may ultimately prove unfruitful as both Manchester heavyweights are eyeing him up.

United have been linked with the 19-year-old since the summer, with his excellent form for Everton being one of the highlights of their high-flying campaign so far.

However now it looks as though Manuel Pellegrini's City have now joined their arch-rivals in pursuit of Barkley, after scouts from the club came back with rave reports from Everton's 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

Barkley himself has declared that he is happy to remain under Martinez, but it remains to be seen whether or not his loyalty will remain as firm if United or City step up their efforts in the New Year.

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