Ross Barkley wants to join Manchester United this summer

by Leo Nieboer

Guardian journalist Jamie Jackson has confirmed that Everton midfielder Ross Barkley wants to join Manchester United this summer.

Ronald Koeman recently revealed that the 23-year-old, who already has 179 appearances under his belt at Goodison Park, had asked to leave the club this summer.

Reports earlier this month have claimed that Man United have expressed an interest in the Englishman soon after prizing away Romelu Lukaku from Merseyside for £75m.

And Jackson, speaking on talkSPORT, confirmed that Barkley was keen on a move to Man United this summer.

“Barkley is on the list at United, if you like, but he’s not a prime choice and Barkley is aware of that.

“He would obviously like to go to United.

“Mourinho had a bit of a problem at number ten, he played Mkhitaryan there again tonight [a 1-0 pre-season friendly defeat to Barcelona] and he just doesn’t really fancy any of those players. So perhaps he’s looking at Barkley as that player, especially now that Rooney has gone.”

Jose Mourinho has explicitly stated that, in terms of transfer policy, the priority continues to be securing a winger and a defensive midfielder capable of acting as cover for Michael Carrick. And this cannot change: these two areas need to be addressed. And fast.

Once they are done, Mourinho can turn to a conundrum that hasn’t received enough attention: whether he use a No.10 next season.

He has oscillated between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, using Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Andreas Pereira in behind the striker at times, but you can tell the 54-year-old continues to harbour doubts over the role. And perhaps Barkley, with his notably direct style, could be the type of No.10 Mourinho feels comfortable with using over a prolonged period.

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