Tottenham Hotspur are unwilling to pay £50 million for wantaway midfield star Ross Barkley amidst stiff competition from Premier League Champions Chelsea.
As per a report in The Telegraph, the 23-year-old could be available for as less as £25 million. Everton are currently said to be holding out for £50 million for Barkley, who has only 12 months left on his current deal and is currently recovering from surgery.
Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy reportedly believes that due to the time remaining on Barkley’s current contract, his fitness levels and the fact that Ronald Koeman has stated that he will leave this summer, the attacking midfielder could be available for a much lower price.
Mauricio Pochettino has proven record of bringing through young English talent like Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Earlier this summer it was reported that the Argentine saw the Evertonian as the successor to Mousa Dembele and believed he could convert Barkley from an attacking midfielder into a top class box-to-box midfielder.
While their rivals have spent vast sums of money strengthening their squad this summer, Spurs are yet to make a single purchase. Pochettino is said to believe that Barkley’s acquisition could prove to be huge bargain in this inflated market, and it is a sentiment shared by their local rivals.
Besides Tottenham, Chelsea are said to be the other main contender vying for his signature, but it is unlikely that even they will be willing to pay £50 million for a player who has less than a year left on his current deal, is recovering from surgery and hasn’t played a full 90 minutes since April.
Antonio Conte is facing something of a crisis in midfield, despite acquiring Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco. The Blues sold Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and currently only have Cesc Fabregas, N’golo Kante, Lewis Baker and Kyle Scott available in central midfield.
The latter two are expected to be shipped off on loan and that would only reduce the Blues’ options in midfield even further. They are said to be eyeing Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and have launched a £25 million bid for him.
With Chelsea threatening to make a move Barkley soon, playing the waiting game with Everton could end up being costly for Daniel Levy & co. The Blues would undoubtedly be able to give him a raise in his wages while also competing for multiple titles on a regular basis.
However at Stamford Bridge, opportunities to feature regularly for the first team may come fewer and farther in between than at Tottenham. Chelsea already have three top class midfielders in their squad and if they manage to acquire Chamberlain, it may become even harder for Barkley.
This is an important factor to consider, give than the World Cup is less than a year away. Failure to feature regularly this season would significantly reduce his chances to be a part of Gareth Southgate’s squad that flies to Russia in 10 months’ time.