Tottenham Hotspur are set to go head-to-head with Chelsea in the pursuit of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley in January. The England international was heavily tipped to join the Blues prior to the summer transfer deadline, but he knocked back their advances to continue his rehabilitation at Goodison Park.
Barkley is currently recuperating from a serious hamstring injury, and he is unlikely to return to first-team action until mid-December. Despite this, the 23-year-old could be expected to leave Merseyside at the start of 2018 with the Toffees reluctant to lose him on a Bosman at the end of the campaign.
According to The Mirror, Spurs will re-enter the chase for Barkley after being priced out of a move during the summer. The north London giants were unwilling to cough up a £35m sum back then, but they are now likely to negotiate a lesser sum with Barkley entering the final six months of his contract.
Premier League holders Chelsea are also said to maintain their interest in the attacker, although Barkley is understood to favour a move to Spurs due to Mauricio Pochettino’s excellent track record of grooming young English players.
The north London giants have juggled with the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks in the absence of Mousa Dembele, and Barkley has the opportunity to fight for a slightly deeper midfield position, where he began his initial Toffees career.
Prior to his injury, Barkley earned a series of call-ups with the England national side, and he will be hopeful of making the cut for the World Cup with a strong display in the second half of the season. Gareth Southgate is still looking for the perfect partner to Eric Dier in the Three Lions’ midfield, and Barkley has the best part of five months to prove his worth to the national team boss.
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