Chelsea bid £25 million for Everton's Ross Barkley - is he worth it?
Chelsea have lodged a shock bid for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, as the Premier League champions look to strengthen their squad before the transfer window shuts.
Barkley’s days at Goodison Park appeared to be numbered after he failed to sign a new contract earlier this summer.
Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the England midfielder all summer, but it is Chelsea who have made a decisive move to bring the player to Stamford Bridge.
According to the Telegraph, the Blues have offered £25 million for Barkley, who has entered the final 12 months of his existing deal and is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Everton had originally valued the 23-year-old at £50 million, according to the Independent, but with time running out they may be willing to accept a compromise deal. Barkley, of course, would be free to leave for nothing next summer. However, Chelsea’s move could potentially spark a bidding war with Spurs.
Chelsea have already signed Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, but boss Antonio Conte does not appear to be satisfied. The Blues have also been heavily linked with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Drinkwater, as it promises to be a frantic couple of days at Stamford Bridge.
Barkley didn’t enjoy a stellar season at Everton and lost his place in the England squad under Gareth Southgate. When he burst on to the scene four years ago, he was heralded as one of the brightest prospects in European football.
The youngster’s time at Goodison Park has not panned out as he would have hoped, but he remains a player of immense potential and there is no reason why he can’t go on to fulfil the promise he showed as a teenager.
In today’s inflated market, £25 million would represent a fair price for Barkley. While he probably wouldn’t walk straight into the starting XI, he would offer a different dimension to Conte’s current attacking midfield options.
The Englishman does not possess the vision of Fabregas or the guile of Pedro, for instance, but his raw power and ability to scythe past opponents make him a tricky customer.
Barkley’s decision-making needs to improve, but who better to help him in that regard than Conte? Swapping Merseyside for west London could be the catalyst the 23-year-old’s career needs.