Everton coach Alan Stubbs says the club will be able to resist bids for Ross Barkley this summer.
The England international has fast become one of the hottest prospects in Europe after a fine season at Goodison Park, leading to much speculation regarding his future.
Thanks to a lack of financial strength, Everton have had to sell big names like Marouane Fellaini, Jack Rodwell and Mikel Arteta in recent years and fans were left fearing a similar fate for their latest star.
Both Manchester United and Liverpool have been accredited with an interest in recent weeks with the latter reportedly preparing an incredible £38m bid this summer.
Both Manchester United and Brendan Rodgers are looking to build their teams around a core of homegrown players, leaving them desperate to snap up the best local talent.
With the Red Devils set to give prospective manager Louis van Gaal as much as £200m to spend, it looked as though Old Trafford was a likely destination for Barkley. Liverpool, local rivals to Everton, do have financial might of their own, but a move always looked unlikely.
But it seems that Everton may now be in a position to keep their best players. Former player Stubbs, who is now a coach, says they are under no pressure to sell their starlet and clubs should forget about bringing Barkley in.
He told talkSPORT: “The club are in a different position than we were five years ago, where we had to maybe sell one of the big stars.
“The club is in a much healthier place at the moment. Keeping Leighton Baines last summer was a huge statement.
“We’ve now got players in abundance who can kick us on to the next level. It’s important now as a club that we start to keep these players, rather than sell one or two every now and then. Barkley is the future.”
One place Barkley's future is in doubt is with England and whether or not he'll be included in their World Cup squad. For Stubbs, however, there should be no question.
“He’s got to go Brazil,” he added. “He’s the future for England. Whether he starts or is just in the squad, he’s got to go.”
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