Gareth Barry will resist the temptation to give the Goodison Park faithful a farewell wave after Sunday’s game with Manchester United because the 33-year-old midfielder would like the opportunity to return in a royal blue shirt next season.

Barry, who is ineligible for Everton’s only other remaining home game of the season against Manchester City, has been an undisputed hit in his season-long loan from City to Everton, having been ruthlessly axed by Etihad manager Manuel Pellegrini.

But there have been no talks with current boss Roberto Martinez about making the move to Merseyside permanent when his City contract ends this summer.

Everton are fearful that Barry, who earned more than £100,000-a-week, will prove too expensive.

Neither does Barry want to undersell himself in what may be the last bumper contract of his career.

But while there is a lot of middle ground to work out, Barry has made it clear he is open to staying at Goodison. ‘If the club offer me a contract and show me they want me, then it is a possibility,’ he said.

‘It won’t be a case of waving to the fans on Sunday. That would be like saying goodbye before I’ve made any decision. I’m just desperate to finish the season on a high.

‘Roberto has been brilliant. I’ve learned so much from him, he’s got great ideas all the time that are ahead of the game. Even at 33, I’m still learning tactical stuff from him.’