Not Matic, this Premier League midfielder wants to join Manchester United

Jose Mourinho has Everton’s Ross Barkley on his list of targets for the transfer window, Guardian correspondent Jamie Jackson has claimed. The Red Devils are expecting to sign at least two players before the Premier League opener, and Barkley is among the top names propping up the United shortlist.

Barkley has less than a year left on his Toffees contract, and manager Ronald Koeman has already confirmed that the attacker will move on during the summer transfer window. While the England international would prefer a switch to Old Trafford, Jackson insists that Barkley is aware he is not the first-choice.

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

Manchester United are currently hot in the pursuit of Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, but they are still far off from negotiating a transfer fee for the Croatia international. Despite this, reputed journalist Tancredi Palmeri claims the deal could be wrapped up soon with manager Luciano Spalletti admitting that he has to deal with the will of the player as well as the club.

Meanwhile, Barkley could also be utilised as a central midfielder, but Mourinho is likely to maintain his interest in Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, who is eager to make the switch to Old Trafford. The Blues are currently holding out for at least £50m for the Serbian, but United are ready to test their resolve with a £40m plus bid this summer.

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