Barkley set to be offered new Everton deal

Everton are set to reward midfielder Ross Barkley with a new contract following a fine start to the season.

The 20-year-old has emerged as a key figure in Roberto Martinez's plans at Goodison Park this term, making 14 Premier League appearances and scoring two goals to help Everton to fifth in the table after 15 matches.

Barkley enjoyed loan spells at Championship sides Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United last season before breaking into the first-team picture at Everton.

The youngster's performances have reportedly drawn interest from a host of suitors including Manchester United, who are now managed by former Everton boss David Moyes.

But Everton are set to deter potential interest by offering a new deal to the England international, despite having ample time left on the four-and-a-half-year deal he penned in 2011.

"Ross has got a long-term contract with us so it is not a situation where he is coming to the end of his contract," Martinez said.

"As a club, we will always want to reward young players if they do well in the first team and their roles change. Remember that Ross was a youngster trying to break into the first-team squad.

"Now, for me, he is going to have an important role in the squad, so that is going to be reflected. But there is not a timescale (on a contract being signed).

"It is something that is in my thoughts. As soon as we conclude that, we will let the fans know. It is the same for every young player, not just for Ross.

"Every youngster that comes in and allows himself to step up into a new role, that is going to be recognised in a contract. If his contract is up at the end of the season or he has another five years, it doesn't matter."