Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2017

Arsenal are reportedly set to test Everton’s resolve to keep Ross Barkley at the club.

According to Steve Stammers of the Sunday Mirror, the Gunners admire the England international and feel he could make a difference to the team’s midfield. Barkley will have just one year left on his Everton contract at the end of the campaign.

Per Stammers, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman recently made it clear that Barkley needs to sign a new contract at Goodison Park or he will be sold. According to the report, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in the playmaker.

Barkley has developed well under Koeman.

Barkley has developed well under Koeman.Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

After a difficult start to the Premier League season, Barkley has rediscovered his best form since the turn of the year, helping Everton keep in touch with the Premier League’s top six.

Ell Bretland of MailOnline believes the Toffees need to get Barkley’s contract situation sorted as quickly as possible:

For as long as things remain up in the air, speculation about the midfielder’s future will continue to gather pace, especially given he’s performing well.

Koeman has moved Barkley into a position on the right flank, from which he can drift infield, find space and link up with the league’s top scorer, Romelu Lukaku. The upturn in form has seen the Everton man called up by England manager Gareth Southgate, having been absent from recent squads.

Barkley has his confidence back again.

Barkley has his confidence back again.Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Given his technical ability, powerful running and new-found versatility, Barkley would tick plenty of boxes for Arsenal. Per Squawka Football, the 23-year-old is a creative force too:

According to Stammers, Barkley would be available for around £10 million in the summer. While the midfielder may have just one year left on his contract at that point, that seems low for one of English football’s rising stars.

While Arsenal are flush with attacking-midfield options, Barkley would be an exciting acquisition and a player with the potential to bring something different to the final third at the Emirates Stadium.


Arsenal Chasing Terell Pennant

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: A corner flag with the Arsenal club badge on it during the EFL Quarter Final Cup match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on November 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are keen to sign Leicester City youngster Terell Pennant, who is regarded as one of the most exciting youth players in English football.

Cross noted that as well as the Gunners, Manchester United are looking at the 14-year-old. Arsenal scouts are said to have watched the forward net a brace for the Foxes’ under-16 side in recent a 2-1 win over Southampton.

It’s also noted that Pennant’s deal with Leicester is set to run out at the end of the season and that a clutch of Premier League sides have consequently been alerted to his availability. 

“Arsenal are desperately trying to steal a march on everyone else and regard him as having huge potential, as he can play on either flank and through the middle,” Cross wrote. “They are likening him to a young Thierry Henry and are keen to snap him up, with Leicester trying to keep hold of him.”

Iwobi and Bellerin have made the step up into the Arsenal first team.

Iwobi and Bellerin have made the step up into the Arsenal first team.Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Gunners’ academy setup is considered as one of the finest in the country, and there would be a temptation for any youngster to make the switch to north London if offered.

Arsenal have a decent track record of giving star players at youth level a chance at the senior level too. Most recently, Alex Iwobi and Hector Bellerin have made the step up into the starting XI, while Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have also been involved in the first-team squad this season.

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