Arsenal are leading the chase to sign experienced Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, according to reports in the Mirror.
The 33 year old England international is currently on a season-long loan with the Toffees after being deemed surplus to requirements by City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
The report states that the north London club want to recruit Barry when the transfer window reopens, to provide cover in the middle of the park for the likes of Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of the veteran midfielder and plans to add him to his ranks for next season.
It further states that the Gunners will face competition from a number of rival Premier League clubs for Barry’s signature, with Roberto Martinez likely to want to keep him at Goodison Park.
Manchester City have no plans to offer Barry a new contract and it’s likely wherever he goes, the deal will be substantially less than the £100,000-a-week pay packet he is on at present. He has racked up over 650 appearances in a lengthy career but has shown this term that he is still more than capable of impressing at the highest level while he may well have forced himself into Roy Hodgson’s 2014 World Cup squad.
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He is nearing the closing stage of his career which is a cause for concern, but given that he is available on a free transfer, Barry could prove to be a useful addition to any squad.
It will prove to be a very difficult task to bring him to north London, given that he would certainly not be guaranteed a starting berth at Arsenal. Everton will likely to try and sign him on permanent deal, chances are that he will be remaining at Goodison Park instead.
He’s not really the calibre or age bracket of a midfielder that we need. With both Arteta and Flamini in and around their 30’s, Arsenal need some young blood injected into the defensive midfield role. Someone who can grow and develop into the role, not an aging Gareth bloody Barry!
Do you think we need him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.