Arsenal are preparing a late bid for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, according to reports.

Barkley has been linked with Arsenal throughout the summer as his days at Everton seemed numbered.

According to The Express, Arsenal could steal a march on the competition with a late bid for the midfielder.

Spurs have been favourites to sign him, but appear to be dithering. Chelsea have also been linked, but have also yet to make a bid.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman made the quick decision to sell Barkley at the start of the summer once it became apparent he wouldn’t sign a new contract.

The £45m signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson surely suggests that Barkley will be sold, eventually.

Everton’s asking price has delayed any sale, as they reportedly wanted £50m for him. New reports have since suggested that that price has come down.

Still, that’s unlikely to tempt Arsenal into buying a player that doesn’t really improve the squad.

Arsenal have many attacking midfielders in the squad, and Barkley isn’t able to play the central midfield role that Arsenal need filling.