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West Brom to try to steal away Everton midfielder

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Tony Pulis wants to add some experience

FC Twente v Everton FC - Preseason Friendly
Gareth Barry
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

With Everton spending heavily this summer on rebuilding the spine of the team, opportunities to play will be harder to come by for veteran Gareth Barry. The addition of Davy Klaassen and likely arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson, while not directly affecting Barry at his deep defensive midfielder position, will make competition tougher for starting spots.

The Mail are reporting that West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis is looking to replace Darren Fletcher who left the club this offseason with Barry, tempting him with a two-year deal.

Everton were recently rumoured to be working on a contract extension for Barry that would keep the veteran at Goodison Park for an additional year until the end of the 2018-19 season.

While still capable of picking a great pass out of his deep-lying role and effectively marshaling a rearguard action, the 36-year-old’s lack of pace has shown him up badly in recent seasons and represents a big risk in keeping him around beyond this season.

Everton v Middlesbrough - Premier League
Gareth Barry scores in his 600th Premier League appearance last September
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Englishman has picked up 628 Premier League appearances and is just five more games away from upstaging the all-time leader Ryan Giggs. He has 52 goals and 63 assists in that span, and also comfortably leads the yellow card table with 121 cautions. However he will find getting playing minutes at Everton challenging despite Koeman’s high regard for him.

West Brom finished in a distant tenth place last season and will be looking for Barry’s experience as they attempt to widen the gap between them and the relegation zone below.