England appear to have found a future national treasure in the shape of Ross Barkley.
The 19-year-old has made a fantastic start to the Premier League season with Everton, benefiting from the arrival of Roberto Martinez and loan spells in the Championship.
His impressive form has already led to international recognition, with Barkley coming off the bench in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova at Wembley.
Admiring glances haven’t been slow in coming the teenager’s way, with two of the Premier League’s biggest teams linked with a move.
Manchester United were the first to reportedly begin courting the player, and reports at the start of the month claimed manager David Moyes was considering a £20million swoop.
The Scot is well aware of Barkley’s talents from their time together at Goodison Park, although Moyes was seemingly reluctant to get the midfielder in the first team.
Now in charge of the Red Devils, his interest appears to have been peaked in the player, and a move would come just months after Marouane Fellaini followed his manager to Old Trafford.
Defender Leighton Baines has also been linked with a move to Manchester United from the Toffees.
The link to Chelsea is more recent, with reports at the weekend claiming Jose Mourinho wants to launch a £20m bid for the player in January.
In recent times, the Blues have become a hot-bed for young talent from around Europe, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Oscar and Andre Schurrle finding a home at Stamford Bridge.
One thing the Blues lack is high-quality English youngsters, with Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobalah a long way off the first team. And, with the careers of Frank Lampard and John Terry beginning to wind down, a homegrown young player would certainly be welcomed in west London.
That's not an area of concern for Manchester United, but they should be worried about dropping away from the league's other top clubs in the transfer market.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, the champions became a dominant force in English football, and were able to attract the very best players to the club ahead of others.
The summer transfer window suggested that, perhaps, that's not the case anymore in Europe at least.
One way to get round that is to snap-up the best young talent England has to offer, and Barkley certainly falls into that category. Alongside Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley, he could flourish at Old Trafford.
With two goals in nine Premier League appearances so far this term, Barkley has laid down a marker that he'll now be expected to match on a regular basis. And, scouts will be watching to see if he can maintain that level until January.
If he does, then the speculation over a move will only get louder, and it's certainly in the interest of Manchester United to win this particular race.
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