Arsenal are prepared to match the wages of a recent contract offer made to Gareth Barry by Premier League rivals Everton, according to reports in Talk Sport.
The 33 year old excelled on loan at Everton in a defensive midfield role last season and was a key part of their success under Roberto Martinez. He is available on a free transfer this summer after his contract at Manchester City, with whom he won the Premier League in 2012, expired.
The report states that the Toffees have offered Barry a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months, but the Englishman has told Everton he will make a decision on his future by the beginning of next month amid new interest from Arsenal for his signature.
It further states that the Gunners are prepared to match Everton’s £60,000-a-week wages. The experienced midfielder is currently away on holiday and is set to finalise a decision on his future after he returns. Both Martinez and Wenger would prefer to know his decision sooner rather than later, so that they can have the maximum amount of time to pursue other targets.
Barry may not be the most exciting signing that Wenger could possibly make, but he could well be the shrewdest. The player is a proven Premier League talent who has performed well at Everton, City and Aston Villa over the years. He has added a balance to Everton’s midfield this season and become a key member of the Toffees top four attempts.
He is an intelligent player who can read the game well and is also not afraid to shoot. He adds an extra dimension between the midfield and the defence, helping to slow down any counter attacks.
His age is a worrying factor however and is unfortunately not an improvement on either Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini. We need a higher profile player in that position, preferably Sami Khedira.
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