Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

West Ham United eye Ross Barkley transfer as Chelsea plot exit amid Thomas Tuchel concerns

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham United are interested in Ross Barkley as Chelsea plot to offload the midfielder.

Thomas Tuchel wants to strengthen his Champions League winners with at least four new players. But the German’s plans raise doubt over the futures of at least 11 players currently on the west London fringes.

Among those at risk of the chop include fellow Hammers target Tammy Abraham, along with Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud. Christian Pulisic is also frustrated with only playing a backup role, raising question marks over the American’s stay.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Barkley, meanwhile, will return to Stamford Bridge this summer after spending last season on loan at Aston Villa. Yet his long-term future in the capital is uncertain as Tuchel has key concerns over the Englishman.

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Tuchel questions how Barkley looks after himself off the pitch and was concerned by the inconsistency of his Villa performances. The £96,000-per-week playmaker struggled to regain a prominent role under Dean Smith after missing seven games with a hamstring injury.

West Ham could come to Barkley’s rescue with David Moyes’ side keen but would prefer to agree an initial loan. Steve Bruce also wants the former England international at Newcastle United if Chelsea allow a temporary move.

The Irons’ have been interested in Barkley for months after Aston Villa decided they will not pursue another transfer (TEAMtalk). Chelsea had hoped to sell the midfielder for £40million (90min) in January. But they have since lowed their demands to £30m (Express & Star).

TBR’s view: Barkley concerns too great for West Ham

West Ham should approach anything greater than a loan deal for Barkley on modest terms with great caution. As Tuchel’s concerns and the inconsistency of his Aston Villa displays could see him struggle at the London Stadium.

Villa are reluctant to re-sign Barkley as he turns 28 in December and would demand a lucrative salary. He will also be worth far less when the time comes to negotiate a new contract. But his performances post-injury were hardly worth the wage he already receives, either.

After starting promisingly with two goals and an assist in his first five Premier League games under Smith, he only managed to score once in his subsequent 19. Barkley also failed to pen another assist and only started four of his final 10 appearances.

If Barkley is not looking after himself off the pitch to the level Tuchel would like, Moyes would likely struggle to see the 33-cap Englishman be available as much as West Ham need with Europa League football on its way.

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