Middlesbrough are looking into a possible deal to bring England international Ross Barkley back to this country, TEAMtalk understands.
Michael Carrick has enjoyed lots of success since taking over the reins on Teesside. Boasting a 54.5% win percentage, he has won 18 of the 33 games he has been in charge of, with just 10 losses in that time.
However, their quest to return to the Premier League was ended at the first play-off hurdle, with Coventry overcoming them 1-0 on aggregate.
Now, though, plans are already underway to improve next season in what will be another competitive Championship campaign.
And Carrick is setting his sights on bolstering his options in both midfield and attack. As a result, we understand Carrick has spoken to the 29-year-old former Everton man about a move to the Riverside this summer.
Barkley, capped 33 times by England, is a free agent this summer after leaving French side Nice.
He moved to the south of France last summer, having left previous club Chelsea by mutual consent.
And while he made 28 appearances for Nice, scoring four goals, the decision has been made to let him leave.
Now Barkley is looking to rekindle his career back in England with initial talks held over a move to Teesside.
Barkley is a player who Carrick will face faced on several occasions throughout his career. Indeed, the pair shared two seasons together in the England squad between 2013-2015, before the latter’s retirement at that level.
A move to the Riverside is not yet been agreed and Barkley will reportedly explore other options before making a decision on his future.
But Boro have made the first move and have got their foot in the door first.