Interest from Manchester United and Chelsea could see Ross Barkley double his money as he begins negotiations over a new contract ahead of next season.
According to Goal.com, Everton are concerned about their ability to hold onto the exciting young midfielder and are ready to double his wages to stave off interest in him from out of Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge. Barkley is heading to Brazil with the England World Cup squad and is being tipped to make a name for himself on the world stage after an impressive season.
Manchester United are mentioned in the report as being chief among the 20-year-old's suitors and have been linked with a massive £50million bid in the past. Whether they will make such an offer remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that new manager Louis van Gaal has some rebuilding to do when he takes over after the World Cup.
He is currently in charge of the Netherlands but has already been linked with telling Old Trafford moneymen who he wants them to bring in next season as they look to get back into the top four of the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson's successor David Moyes had a disastrous season in charge and could only manage a seventh place finish in the defence of the title won in Ferguson's final year in charge - a failure that cost Moyes his job.
However, Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in Barkley and Jose Mourinho is reportedly ready to make a number of signings in the attacking department, though it will depend on who goes out the door at Stamford Bridge.
Everton's financial restrictions mean they will always be at risk of losing their leading players to their big-spending rivals, with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini both making multi-million pound moves to Old Trafford. It may be delaying the inevitable with regards to upping Barkley wages from £20,000 a week to £40,000, but the report claims Roberto Martinez is desperate to hold onto him for at least the short-term.
The Toffees' manager's first season since taking over from David Moyes was deemed a great success as he led the club to the verge of Champions League qualification, only to miss out ino the last few games. They did playing some very attractive football, with Barkley's terrific skill and dynamism in attacking midfield a key component, so losing him after his best season would be a big blow for the club.