Manchester United must not pay £50m for Premier League star

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Football News

Despite the fact that his side seem finally to be enjoying somewhat of a consistent run of form, there is surely no doubt that David Moyes will be in the market for a host of new faces when the transfer market re-opens in a matter of days.

Although there are a variety of areas still clearly in need of strengthening, it would perhaps be wise to expect that Manchester United's previously under pressure boss will prioritise the search for a consistent, creative midfield presence above all other slightly less pressing needs.

Yesterday, reports suggested that Manchester United were keen to ensure that they were the frontrunners in the race to sign Ross Barkley and even went as far as to say that the Red Devils believe that a bid of around £50 million will entice Everton to the negotiating table.

Now, while it is certainly accurate to suggest that the talented 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough 2013 and could even earn himself a coveted spot in England's squad for next summer's World Cup campaign in Brazil, that is a simply ludicrous fee to pay for someone yet to fully establish himself at top-flight level.

I'm not denying that Barkley is a gifted playmaker with bags of potential - far from it.

Indeed, if he continues the hugely encouraging development that he has displayed at Goodison Park under the guidance of Roberto Martinez, then there is no doubt that the former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United loanee is set for a successful and richly rewarding future at the top level.

Neither am I suggesting that a Manchester United move for Barkley would be misguided. However, at this early juncture of his burgeoning career, £50 million is a frankly ridiculous price tag that if met, would heap more unnecessary pressure on Moyes, Manchester United and indeed the player himself.

We only have to glance at much-maligned Spaniard Fernando Torres for clear evidence of what negative repercussions such an unsettling and altogether damagingly exorbitant fee can have on a player in their prime, let alone one of Barkley's tender age.

If Manchester United are keen to acquire Barkley's services in January, they should make a lower offer that would still represent a significant financial boost for Everton and convince them that they are still receiving adequate compensation.

But they should stop well short of offering £50 million. If that means missing out on him and having to focus attentions elsewhere, then so be it.

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