In Focus: Arsenal should let Spurs win race to sign £35m-rated Everton star

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Arsenal have joined Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City in the race to sign £35m-rated Everton midfielder Ross Barkley this summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the 23-year-old’s contract at Goodison Park next summer but he is yet to commit his future to the club.

If the England international isn’t willing to do that then the club could cash in on him at the end of the season to avoid losing him for nothing in 2018, which has alerted a number of clubs.

Spurs are the favourites while the Premier League leaders and Pep Guardiola’s side are monitoring developments, but now Arsene Wenger is understood to have thrown his hat into the ring.

How good has Barkley been this season?

He has been good, but has perhaps been distracted by talk over his future at certain points.

The 23-year-old has scored four goals and provided a further eight assists in 33 Premier League appearances this season, while he has created 36 more chances than any other Toffees player.

Despite that, he was dropped to the substitutes’ bench for the trip to Swansea City on Saturday as the Merseyside outfit’s form has dropped in recent weeks.

Where would he fit in at Arsenal?

Good question.

If Arsene Wenger is to persevere with the 3-4-3 formation next season then Barkley would either feature in the middle of the park or on the left or right side of the front three.

It doesn’t seem to be a formation that suits him too much though, which could put the move into doubt.

Would Arsenal pay the £35m fee?

They may feel it isn’t good value for money considering the England international’s contract runs out in a year, but Arsene Wenger is also aware that he needs to significantly strengthen his squad after a disappointing season.

He will have to pay good money to get the players he wants if he is to do that.

What’s the verdict, then?

While he is clearly a talented player, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal would sign a player that still struggles with his consistency.