Reports: Chelsea to beat Tottenham to €45 million Premier League midfielder next week
What's the story
Chelsea have looked across the length of the nation and having seen Liverpool splurge £75 million and have decided enough is enough, it's time to spring into action.
With the January transfer window opening up in just two days, Chelsea are working overtime to seal a deal they all thought they had completed in the previous transfer window... and that's bring Ross Barkley down from Everton to the Bridge, as per the good folk over at the Telegraph.
Tottenham Hotspur are also keen on the English attacking midfielder, but Mauricio Pochettino is seemingly content to wait till the summer and get him and that's given the more ambitious Blues a big advantage. Unless Spurs start throwing some big money around, Barkley should be theirs
In case you didn't know
An extended saga that involved Everton rejecting two bids before finally succumbing to the Blues' financial muscle but in mysterious circumstances the move broke down - some reports suggesting that he failed a medical at Cobham, while Barkley himself rejected any such claims.
What is widely undisputed, though, is that Antonio Conte was not allowed to speak to Barkley (after the Italian made sure Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would not sign for Chelsea by saying he'd play only at right wing-back) and that appears to have been the breaking point in that particular transfer happening.
Chelsea's board, though, are attempting to rectify their mistake with this move.
The heart of the matter
With Eden Hazard's contract renewal Chelsea's top aim, and having to pacify Thibault Courtois who seems to be angling for a move abroad - to Real Madrid some reports suggest - they are desperate to have some movement into the squad to spread positivity within the camp.
Here's why Chelsea want Barkley...
The Englishman would add a dash of variety to the attack while reducing the burden of creativity which Eden Hazard shoulders.
This a move which makes sense to both parties - Chelsea add quality whilst increasing their squad depth, while Barkley moves to play in the kind of company that will help him raise his game and helps him compete to earn himself a place in the England squad for the 2018 World Cup.