By Alex Stevens
Everton have lined up Kevin Strootman as a long-term replacement for Gareth Barry, according to a report.
The Mirror claim the Roma midfielder tops the shortlist of manager Ronald Koeman to replace Barry, who turns 36 in February.
It is said that Koeman will have a significant war chest with which to strengthen the Everton squad in the January transfer window.
Strootman, 26, has been plagued by injuries and has struggled to make a success of his stay in Serie A due to two serious knee problems.
He has suffered issues with his cruciate knee ligament and Koeman has been waiting to see how he recovers.
The Mirror report that Strootman was on Louis Van Gaal’s radar during the Dutchman’s time at Manchester United but the player was sidelined for long periods.
Koeman has been impressed with Barry since taking over at Goodison Park and the midfield veteran has continued to be a first-team regular.
He has started all nine of Everton’s Premier League matches this season and even chipped in with two goals.
By contrast,ex-PSV Eindhoven midfielder Strootman will have 18 months to go on his current deal when the next transfer window opens.
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