Battle for Barry

EVERTON fans, disappointed at the departure of loan star Gerard Deulofeu, who has returned to Barcelona, will be happy to hear manager Roberto Martinez insisting midfield star Ross Barkley will definitely not be for sale, even if he returns from the World Cup as a superstar.

Of course, it’s a harsh fact of football life that every player has his price, but I’m sure Martinez is determined to hold on to young Barkley, who made such huge progress last season. It remains to be seen whether Everton can hang on to Gareth Barry, for me the bedrock of the midfield in his season on loan at Goodison.

Barry, who is clearly being touted around the Premier League by his agent, was happy at Goodison. But Everton, who have offered him a deal, are already a step behind their rivals for Barry’s signature. I’m told that a condition of his one-season loan from Manchester City was that Everton will pay City £1 million if they sign him ‘permanently.’

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