Will wages scupper Arsenal’s summer swoop for Gareth Barry?
Arsenal are plotting a move for midfielder Gareth Barry when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
Barry, 32, has impressed Gunners boss Arsene Wenger during a season-long loan spell at Everton after joining the Toffees from Manchester City.
At the Etihad he is reportedly on wages of around £100,000 per week, so can the north Londoners afford him?
Holding midfielder Barry would have come in handy in Arsenal ranks as they were thrashed 5-1 at Liverpool, denting their Premier League title chances.
Coral have lengthened the Gunners’ odds on winning the top-flight to 7/1 and cut Liverpool from 20/1 to 12/1 because of that emphatic scoreline.
Defender Martin Skrtel and winger Raheem Sterling both scored twice in the rout and Arsenal were 4-0 down with 20 minutes played at Anfield.
Wenger was without suspended midfield destroyer Mathieu Flamini for the trip to Merseyside and the Gunners’ back four lacked protection as a result.
Barry would add another experienced name to the Arsenal squad in this area, but they will face competition from Everton for his signature this summer.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez tried to turn his loan spell at Goodison Park permanent in the January transfer window, but the player wanted to keep his options open.
Rejuvenated at Everton, his fine form under Martinez has prompted calls from some quarters for him to return to the international fold.
Former Aston Villa captain Barry is a tempting 5/1 with Coral to make England’s World Cup squad for Brazil this summer.
Everton suffered a narrow defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, however, and are now 8/1 shots to finish in the Premier League’s top-four.
Barry could be lured to the Emirates Stadium this summer by the prospect of playing Champions League football next season, but may have to take a pay cut.
Arsenal’s top target in the next transfer window remains highly-rated attacker Julian Draxler, who plays for Bundesliga outfit Schalke.