Tottenham are set to compete with Chelsea for the signature of Everton contract rebel Ross Barkley in the January transfer window.
The ?Mirror report that the London rivals will square off over the 23-year-old once the winter window opens on 1st January, and Spurs have been installed as favourites to land Barkley ahead of the reigning Premier League champions.
Mauricio Pochettino has long been an admirer of the midfielder and will hope that his track record of turning potential into actual ability will help sway Barkley to White Hart Lane instead of Stamford Bridge.
Barkley, who is currently out injured with a hamstring injury, is in the final 12 months of his current Toffees contract.
The England international has informed Ronald Koeman that he has no desire to pen a new deal at Goodison Park after stating he wants a “new challenge”.
Barkley’s asking price was set at £35m in the summer but, with the academy product in the last six months of his contract come the turn of the year, will see his fee reduced significantly as the Merseysiders look to get some money instead of losing him for free in June.
Why do people still believe that Ross Barkley would be our saviour he hasn’t done a lot for us for 18 months and no other side wanted him
— Robert James (@RobertJames1956) October 3, 2017
Chelsea reportedly seemed set to snap Barkley up on transfer deadline day before he made a last-minute decision not to join Antonio Conte’s side.
Barkley and his advisers have disputed that he was ever in west London undergoing a medical – comments that fly in the face of Farhad Moshiri, who insisted Barkley opted not to join Chelsea after having medical tests at their Cobham training base.
Conte will no doubt look to try and sign him again in January, but will face stern opposition from Spurs due to Pochettino’s willingness to play English stars and improve their game.
Barkley’s chances of being on the plane for next summer’s World Cup in Russia will rest on how much game time he accrues in the remainder of the season.
And it is much more plausible that the Toffees ace will feature more regularly for Tottenham than Chelsea, given Pochettino’s tendency to rotate his centre midfield pairing.
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