Report: New York City FC may face Everton challenge for Gareth Barry

IMAGE, THEFA.COM

For months, New York City FC have been linked to longtime Manchester City veteran Gareth Barry as their potential first Designated Player signing.

Acquiring that signature may not be so easy.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton will be in the running for the English midfielder once his Manchester City contract ends next month. The ECHO also reports Arsenal, AS Monaco and Tottenham share interest in the veteran midfielder, but Barry is only entertaining Everton or NYC FC as his next home.

Barry, 33, experienced a renaissance year with the Toffees as an on-loan player from Manchester City, appearing in 39 games over all competitions while netting three goals and four assists. His contributions weighed heavily on Everton’s impressive fifth place finish in the Premiership table.

The Hastings native understands that he will not see the same kind of salary he enjoyed under the City umbrella. If wages are of a lesser concern, that opens the competition up between Everton and the fledgling MLS side to acquire his services.

However, if the Toffees decide to keep Barry, a clause in his loan deal would require the club to pay a £2.5m transfer fee to City — whether he is under contract or not. Any continuation of service under the Everton banner would mean a payment towards his former club.

In essence, the choice will be Barry’s to take, and Everton’s to weigh. It is quite possible NYC FC offer a better salary due to the transfer restrictions placed in his original loan. However, Barry has made a quick home for himself within the confines of the Everton club.

Foregoing his U.S. adventure for another year is always a possibility, but it may come at a price – both in wages and opportunity. There is no guarantee NYC FC will be looking for the then-34 year-old to join their club — particularly as their skipper. With Everton, Barry has the ability to build upon an impressive precedent, and hope for more next year.

Where his ambitions lie — and where his wage demands are set — will dictate where Barry will play next season.