Marco Silva has suggested he would have relished the chance to manage Ross Barkley at Everton.
Barkley will be back at Goodison on Sunday for the first time since leaving the club for Chelsea in January last year in a £15m deal.
The 25-year-old had been a key part of Roberto Martinez’s sides but fell out of favour under the tough-love approach of Ronald Koeman .
Barkley was injured when Sam Allardyce took over from the Dutch boss and then joined Chelsea in the winter window.
Silva, first targeted by Everton October 2017, has hinted he would have liked the opportunity to have coached the Academy product.
“I think it is easy for you to understand what type of players I like,” Silva said.
“He is good football player, he is a technical player and normally I like the good football players.
“Coming from our Academy is also a good signal as a football club but he is no longer our player.
“We respect him as our former player, coming from our Academy but everything that we want is to beat him on Sunday.”
Barkley has been an unused substitute in Chelsea’s last two matches but has made 39 appearances in all competitions for the London club this term.