Reports: Chelsea to battle Tottenham for Premier League star
What's the story?
Chelsea F.C's head coach Antonio Conte is reportedly on the end of his tethers with the Chelsea hierarchy after what the Italian deems a dull transfer window.
Despite procuring Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger, the Italian chief is still said to be unsatiated and has confirmed that he would like 3 more players before the culmination of the summer window.
Reports from the Metro suggest that Chelsea are now seriously considering a move for Everton star - Ross Barkley, who is also a primary target for Tottenham Hotspur and is currently valued at £25 million.
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Ronald Koeman has admitted that Barkley could leave Everton this season, with Tottenham said to be very interested in signing the midfielder. However, Chelsea have now emerged as stiff competition, with The Blues keen on pacifying Antonio Conte.
The 23-year old is immensely talented and was initially valued at £50 million - a rather steep price for a player entering the final year of his contract.. Since then, a public admission of his intentions to leave, as well as an unforeseen injury have contributed towards halving his asking price.
The heart of the matter
Antonio Conte has claimed that he wants at least one new wing back, a midfielder and a forward player - with Chelsea reportedly keeping tabs on Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The defending champions will make a return to Champions League football this season and will also attempt to retain the English Premier League. Conte has taken a stubborn stance and demands that Chelsea recruit more talent, to beef up the squad for the forthcoming season.
With Ross Barkley entering his final contracted year at Everton, things are likely to heat up as several top clubs will attempt to prise the midfielder away from Goodison Park, with Manchester United also said to be monitoring Barkley's situation.
The 23-year old has refused to sign a new deal with Everton and is set to bid farewell to Ronald Koeman and the Toffees.
Several pundits are touting Chelsea to be his ideal destination, as the champions are set to face heated competition this season and will undeniably require additional firepower.
The Stamford Bridge outfit seem to have their hands in several jars at the moment, with their Barkley mission seemingly most likely to be successful. The attacking midfielder's wage demands will barely make a dent in Chelsea's coffers and his valuation, too, seems reasonable.
Chelsea will undoubtedly be hindered by Eden Hazard's absence for the foreseeable future and will be desperate to fill in the Belgian's massive shoes. The flamboyant midfielder is expected to return only in September, and Ross Barkley is considered to be an appropriate alternative.
Barkley was in fluent form last season, picking up 5 goals and 8 assists for Everton. While those numbers may pale in comparison to Hazard's, a notable difference is that Barkley plies his trade for Everton and not the English Premier League champions.
The 23-year old will certainly relish a move to Chelsea - a club capable of harnessing his potential to the maximum. With under 3 weeks left in the transfer window, will Barkley trade a shade of blue for another?