Manchester City to make fresh bid for Everton’s Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley is a target for Manchester City next summer with the champions valuing the midfielder at around £30m and viewing him as among a select few English homegrown players who could slot instantly into their team.

City were interested in buying Barkley in the close season but would not countenance paying Everton’s asking price of £50m. There is a recognition many of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad are at their peak so the need to start building for the future is pressing.

To do so, City require players who are either already established players of the quality of Yaya Touré, David Silva, Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany, Hart, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko, or have the potential to be so, as with Eliaquim Mangala, who is 23 and cost £32m during the summer.

With the Premier League and Uefa demanding clubs should have eight homegrown footballers in their squads for their respective competitions, City have found it a challenge to find English players of the requisite quality. In recent seasons Adam Johnson, Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair were all bought to fill the berths, while Micah Richards was at the club from a young age. All have left City apart from Sinclair who remains on the fringes of the first team.

Although the signings of Johnson, Rodwell and Sinclair are viewed as errors of judgment – Richards has also disappointed and is on loan at Fiorentina – there is a belief that Barkley is a far better player who can one day replace the 31-year-old Touré, 11 years Barkley’s senior.

Though City valued Barkley at £20m, they were prepared to pay a premium of over £30m to secure his signing but Bill Kenwright, the Everton chairman, quoted a price of £50m for the midfielder, and City decided to put their interest on hold.