The 22-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of England’s most promising talents since breaking through at Goodison Park following Roberto Martinez’s arrival.
Although long tipped as promising youngster, the Spaniard thrust Barkley into his first-team plans, and the explosive attacking midfielder has since thrived, winning acclaim for his domestic performances while also travelling to the World Cup in 2014 with the Three Lions.
And now reports claim that his showings have alerted Man United, who have made the £45m-rated youngster their top summer target.
Barkley could be the marquee buy of what’s expected to be a big summer at the Theatre of Dreams, albeit the identity of their next manager – Jose Mourinho has mentioned as Louis van Gaal’s successor for some time – remains unclear.
United are also thought to be interested in Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.