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Manchester United and Chelsea are ready to fight it out in an attempt to land Everton’s £20million-rated teenager Ross Barkley.

Old Trafford boss David Moyes helped nurture Barkley’s outstanding midfield talents when he was in charge of Everton and knows the 19-year-old is destined for the top.

Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also an admirer of a player who won his first England cap coming on as a sub in the World Cup qualifier against Moldova at Wembley.

Ferguson actually made an inquiry for the then 17-year-old Barkley, which was rebuffed by Everton, the Scot believing the youngster possessed similar precocious skills to another Goodison rising star he lured to United, Wayne Rooney.

Now Moyes is anxious to be at the front of the queue if Everton can be persuaded to sell. But as they proved in the £27.5m deal for Marouane Fellaini, their top players are never allowed to leave cheaply.

Bids would have to start around £20m and Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho is already believed to have tested the water over the teenager within weeks of taking over at Stamford Bridge.

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