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Manchester United transfer rumors: Is Everton's Ross Barkley being eyed by Sir Alex Ferguson?

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Manchester United appear set for a raid on Everton FC for their 17-year-old wonder kid Ross Barkley, according to reports. It has been rumored that just last week, prior to the closing of the summer transfer window, United attempted to acquire Barkley in exchange for both cash and Darron Gibson. The latest rumor is that Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson will once again go to Everton boss David Moyes in January and attempt to acquire the young midfielder. 

Barkley broke into the Everton first team this season when he made his debut against Queens Park Rangers in their season opener. In addition, the 17-year-old has also been added to England's U-21 squad and made his debut on Sunday in a match versus Israel. According to his FA profile page, Barkley is "a robust and clever midfield player, who seems to have that precious habit of arriving in the opposition box with perfect timing to both score and set up goals himself." 

Obviously, if the youngster is as talented as many are saying, then this possible acquisition would certainly be good business for United. However, he is only 17-years-old and time will reveal his quality and potential this season. With the departure of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal FC, Barkley should be able to find regular playing time at Goodison Park over the upcoming months. I would not doubt that Fergie would have interest in such a promising talent, however, Barkley's teammate Jack Rodwell is a good example on how quickly one's stock can drop. While Rodwell may still have a bright future, it has been understood that Fergie lost interest in him when he failed to show improvement over the past year. If Barkley continues to provide standout performances into the Winter, then it certainly would not be shocking to see Fergie swoop in for the young midfielder. 

Read after the jump to see what teammates Louis Saha and Phil Neville have to say about Barkley...

Saha on Barkley: 

"I think he's got all the ability to be a great player for Everton and for England. Hopefully he will show that this season. It's not too early for him because he's got all the attributes to surprise a few people. He's got power, strength, confidence, speed – he's said a few times to me that I'm slower than him. Hopefully he will show that to the Premier League this season.I'm enjoying training with him and hopefully I will enjoy playing with him because I think he's got so many talents and he will definitely be a big star if he keeps working hard."

Source: Guardian

Neville on Barkley's character:

"There’s nothing flash or fancy about him, he’s not interested in getting a big car or flash clothes, and he is so humble."

Source: Manchester Evening News

How do you all feel about this rumor? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.