SHEFFIELD Wednesday are set to step up discussions with Premier League Everton over extending Ross Barkley’s loan.
The Star understands the talented midfielder is eligible to play against Leeds United this Friday. His deal is set to run out after the televised Yorkshire derby.
Barkley is highly regarded by the Toffees backroom staff but moved to Hillsborough on a temporary basis just over a month ago to further his footballing education and gain valuable first-team experience.
Since making his Wednesday debut as a second-half substitute at Brighton and Hove Albion, the 18-year-old has started five times, scoring once, from the penalty spot in the home defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Everton chief David Moyes has a couple of injuries to contend with in the midfield department, including one to influential Belgian star Marouane Fellaini, meaning he may choose to bring back Barkley as cover.
The Merseyside club are fourth in the top flight after seven matches.
At Wednesday, Barkley has been registered on a Football League youth loan. These are slightly different from the senior loans which stipulate a maximum length of stay from the outset.
Dave Jones, the Owls boss, admitted: “Hopefully we can keep Ross. I think they [Everton] want us to have him because the kid hasn’t done anything wrong.
“Ross is a kid and going to make mistakes, but he’s some player when he drives on and plays the way he does.”
Jones described Barkley’s display in the defeat to Hull City as “outstanding” before the international break.
Barkley is likely to get the nod against Leeds as Jones’ troops look to avoid a fourth defeat in a row on home soil. If Jones keeps faith with the 4-1-4-1 formation of recent weeks, Barkley could be partnered in the centre by Jose Semedo and Rhys McCabe.
After capturing Barkley, Jones said: “He’s with us for a month. Then we’ll assess it and see whether he stays longer. That will also be down to Everton.”