Arsenal have reportedly joined North London rivals Tottenham in the race to sign Ross Barkley from Everton this summer

According to a report in London Evening Standard, Ross Barkley has fallen on the radar of Arsenal, who are set to make a move for him in this summer’s transfer window. The England international has also attracted interest from Tottenham, meaning an enticing North London battle seems to be setting up.

Barkley progressed through the ranks at Everton before making his senior debut in 2010. The player finally established himself as an integral member of the first-team setup at Goodison Park in 2013, since when he has become a regular fixture for both club and country.

The Englishman is all of 23 years old currently, but has already racked up close 200 senior appearances for Everton. However, Barkley has often been a frustrating figure due to his inconsistencies, which was pointed out on more than one occasion by Ronald Koeman last season – the player bagged 6 goals and 9 assists in 39 games.

Nevertheless, Barkley continues to be rated highly at Everton. The Merseyside club have been trying to persuade the player to renew his deal at Goodison Park, with less than 12 months remaining on his current contract. But, the two sides have failed to reach an agreement over a renewal, and a summer exit is on the cards.

Like Everton, several of England’s top clubs continue to regard Barkley as one of the most exciting prospects in the country, registering an interest in signing him this summer. Of these, Tottenham have been leading the race to sign the player for a long time.

Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be a huge admirer of the the England international’s talents, keenly following his progress for a while now. The Argentine manager is in search of a top attacking player this summer, with Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli as his only reliable options.

Moussa Sissoko is set to depart from the North London club after just one season while the future of Erik Lamela is up in the air. Thus, Barkley has emerged as a top target for the Tottenham boss. But, Arsenal are set to provide stiff competition to their arch rivals in pursuit of the player.

The need to shed more light on Barkley's future. (Photo courtesy - Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The need to shed more light on Barkley’s future. (Photo courtesy – Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

At the Emirates, the future of Alexis Sanchez is mired in heavy uncertainty, with widespread reports claiming that his time at Arsenal is set to come to an end. On top of that, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also being heavily linked to a summer exit from the North London club.

So, places are likely to be up for grabs on the attacking front next season, which is why Barkley is a viable target for Arsene Wenger. Arsene Wenger’s record of grooming young attacking players could be a factor that tempts Barkley to choosing Arsenal as his next destination.

However, the report suggests that the player is more attracted by the prospect of joining Tottenham, with the Lilywhites having a strong contingency of English stars as part of their core. The asking price is proving to be a big stumbling block in the duo’s pursuit of the player, though.

Everton are holding out for £50 million for the youngster – an staggering figure considering his contract is set to run out in less than a year. The two clubs, however, are confident that they can strike a deal in the region of £25 million. It will now be interesting to see which way Barkley heads off to in the summer.

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