This summer’s transfer window – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
With both Neymar and Ousmane Dembele moving for over £100 million in recent months, it’s the craziest window in recent history. Furthermore, the Premier League has been no outsider to the madness – just ask Chelsea.
The Blues have been on a mission to bolster their squad as means of improving while they’re at the top.
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Alvaro Morata was procured to replace the want-away Diego Costa with Tiemoue Bakyoko introduced to partner N’Golo Kante. Meanwhile, Antonio Rüdiger has been captured in defence and Willy Caballero as goalkeeping cover.
Antonio Conte isn’t finished there, though.
The rumour mill has been linking the Blues with a splurge for homegrown players in the final 48 hours of the window.
Perhaps the most prominent has proven Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Arsenal having agreed a £35 million fee for the winger. The deal has hit a snag over personal terms, however, and Liverpool are waiting in the wings.
Consequently, Conte and co. haven’t been shy about looking elsewhere with Ross Barkley also appearing in their crosshair.
The Englishman’s Everton career has died something of a death with Ronald Koeman all but confirming an impending exit. Having rejected a new contract at Goodison Park, he has been furiously linked with pastures new.
And it seems Chelsea are the first side to place a tangible offer.
According to The Times, the west London club have had a £25 million bid for Barkley rejected by Everton.
Chelsea spoke to the Toffees after the sides’ clash on Sunday with the latter having already relaxed their £50 million valuation. Nevertheless, Everton are still holding out for a fee in the region of £40 million.
Tottenham are also in the running for the 23-year-old with Chelsea keen to continue negotiation as means of outflanking their rivals.
Barkley is currently recovering from a hamstring problem that will rule him out until November and his wage demands have squandered transfer approaches of late.
Time is running out for a deal, however, and it is still possible that Chelsea could hold out until January. With Barkley’s current deal expiring next summer, Everton’s valuation may tumble even further.
Toffees fans, at this point, can see any deal as little great loss. In spite of his brilliant performances over the years, his desire to leave the club has coincided with a stagnation in form.
Even his biggest supporters on Merseyside can take a little sanctuary in the age-related compensation Chelsea would have to foot, though.
Do you think Ross Barkley would be a good signing for Chelsea? Let us know by leaving a comment below.