Manchester United and Chelsea are monitoring the future of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley with a view to making a bid before the end of the transfer window.
The Times have reported that both clubs could be set for a battle with Tottenham to secure the signature of the England international. Barkley's future remains in doubt with 12 months remaining on his contract at Goodison Park, although Everton value him at £50m.
Tottenham are looking to secure the signing of the 23-year-old having held a long-term interest, and manager Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be an admirer of the playmaker.
Barkley is currently sidelined with a groin injury and is believed to be waiting until his return to fitness before considering his future options. Reports on Wednesday claimed that he had demanded that Spurs make him the highest paid player at the club, although he has since categorically denied those claims.
Chelsea and United, meanwhile, are looking to add depth and strengthen their midfield, and have identified Barkley as a target.
Former Arsenal winger Paul Merson told talkSPORT that Barkley "wouldn't get a game at Spurs" if he moved to north London this summer.
“The World Cup is next year, it’s the ultimate for any footballer,” he said.
“Ross needs to play this year. If you’re playing week in week out, you have a chance to go to the World Cup.”