SHEFFIELD Wednesday are watching for any developments at Everton as the Toffees ponder the next step for Ross Barkley.
Another loan move this month is a possibility for the midfield player who impressed in his Hillsborough stay.
Wednesday could be interested if David Moyes decides that a further spell in the Football League would benefit the 19-year-old.
Barkley is just one potential target as the Owls try to bring players in and move them out.
A striker is the priority for Dave Jones, rather than a midfield player. though he is looking at all possible ways of strengthening his side.
The Hillsborough boss is on record as saying he can allocate funds for new players if he generates it by outgoings.
The private reserve game against Rotherham on Tuesday was well attended by representatives from other clubs who may well have been checking on players.
Among them was Mick Harford, assistant manager of MK Dons, the Owls’ FA Cup third round opponents.
If Wednesday pursue an interest in Barkley, he may welcome it, as he enjoyed his loan stay.
Since going back to Goodison Park from Hillsborough, the teenager has broken into the first-team squad.
His latest senior duty was as an unused sub in the 5-1 FA Cup win against Cheltenham on Monday.
He has had the same role in Premier League games against Wigan, West Ham, Spurs, Arsenal and Norwich, and has made two appearances as a sub.
The youngster was sent on in the 77th minute against Chelsea as one of three changes made in that game when Everton were trying in vain to avoid a 3-1 defeat.
His other outing as a sub came in the 69th minute of a 1-1 draw at Stoke. Everton, who are fifth in the table, this Saturday play Swansea at home.
A decision on Barkley’s future could be affected if his club make a new midfield signing. Moyes says: “We have to remember Ross is young and we’re bringing him on. I will continue to edge him nearer to our first team. When the right opportunities come and I think it’s the right time, I will do that.
“If I don’t get him enough of them, I will put him back on loan. Probably people can see where he is needing the games and more experience. The boy is going to be a very good player but he is still young and we have to be wary of that.
“We’ve no problem with boys making mistakes, but you don’t want to make mistakes that cost the team, especially when we are in such a good position.
“When can I give him the opportunities when the mistakes aren’t so important? If I can’t find those times, I will have to let him go on loan and learn more elsewhere.”