Chelsea and Tottenham are reportedly set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley in the winter transfer window.

According to a report in Daily Mirror, Chelsea and Tottenham are set for a transfer tug of way in January for a familiar target. Ross Barkley is the subject of interest from the London rivals once again, and will have the two clubs battling each other for him again in the winter transfer window.

Barkley progressed through the ranks at Everton before establishing himself as a key figure in the first-team setup at the Merseyside club in 2013. Over the last four years, the player has made gradual progress to become a regular face for both club and country.

During his time at Everton, Barkley has racked up close to 200 appearances, and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young players in England. But, he has often been a frustrating figure due to his inconsistencies as well, going on a stretch of games without a single productive performance.

Despite his shortcomings though, the player has proven to be a highly sought-after talent in the transfer market, with the who’s who of English football showing interest in him. However, this past summer, he looked London-bound, with Chelsea and Tottenham battling till deadline day for his signature.

In fact, Chelsea had agreed a £35 million deadline day deal with Everton for Barkley, before the player pulled the plug on the move to concentrate on his rehabilitation from hamstring injury. However, Antonio Conte is set to return for the England international in the winter transfer window.

Indeed, the Chelsea boss is stretched for options in attack and midfield. Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian as his only options in attack, while there is little to choose from beyond Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko at the centre of the park.

With Champions League commitment already taking its toll, adding Barkley will bolster Conte’s options immensely. However, the Blues will have a battle on their hands for the 23-year-old once again, with Tottenham eyeing a deal for him as well.

Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly looking at Barkley as an option in midfield, with the injuries to Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama leaving him with Eric Dier and the inexperienced Harry Winks as his only recognised options. Therefore, Barkley is a viable target to boost what is looking like a thin Spurs squad.

It now remains to be seen where Barkley heads off to in January, with an exit from Goodison Park highly likely. The asking price, though, will be significantly lower than the £35 million that Everton were going to recoup for him, considering the player is in the final year of his contract at the Merseyside club.

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