Chelsea have reportedly joined Tottenham in the race to sign Ross Barkley from Everton before the transfer window slams shut.

According to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Tottenham are set to face stiff competition in their pursuit of Ross Barkley, with Chelsea set to rejoin the race for the Englishman. Spurs, though, are set to test the waters for the Everton midfielder with a £20 million bid.

Barkley has been an instrumental figure for Everton ever since he established himself as a regular fixture in the first team setup in 2013. A regular face in the England national squad too, the player is widely regarded as one of the most impressive young talents in the country for several years now.

He has already racked up close to 200 appearances for Everton’s first team, but has often frustrated due to his inconsistencies. The same was prevalent last season as well, as he filtered in and out of the Ronald Koeman’s side, ending the campaign with 6 goals and 9 assists in 39 appearances in all competitions.

His time at Everton, though, appears set to come to an end this summer, despite a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for three months. Koeman has gone on record to state that Barkley will be sold if he doesn’t sign a renewal and with less than 12 months left on his current deal, the writing is on the wall.

Every top Premier League club, bar Liverpool, have expressed an interest in signing Barkley in recent months. But, his next destination looks destined to be London, with Chelsea and Tottenham going head-to-head in pursuit of the player.

At Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte has been vocal about the the problems pertaining to squad depth and has been seeking reinforcements across several positions this summer. Attack remains a priority, with Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian the only three recognised options at his disposal, for two positions.

Thus, Barkley, whose progress has been monitored by Chelsea for several years now, is a viable target for Conte. Moreover, his versatility makes the player an option in midfield as well, with N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko being the only choices for two positions.

However, Tottenham are set to take the decisive step in pursuit of the England international, with the report suggesting that they are preparing a £20+8 million bid. The North London club have been awfully quiet in the transfer market thus far, with Davinson Sanchez being the only signing of the summer.

Like Conte, Mauricio Pochettino also has a very thin squad at his disposal, with very few options in midfield and attack. Therefore, Barkley is a target who the Tottenham boss has been in pursuit of for weeks now.

Although his career has stuttered a bit in the last two seasons, Pochettino’s track record of moulding young talents into top class players could just be the elixir Barkley needs to develop further. However, the report claims that Tottenham will not have a clear run in their pursuit of the player.

Chelsea are believed to be readying a bid of their own, and it remains to be seen if they can lodge a more appealing bid for the player. Meanwhile, Everton are resigned to secure less than £30 million for the youngster after initially slapping a £50 million price tag on his head.

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