It would appear that Chelsea’s first major dalliance in the transfer market this month will be to rescue Ross Barkley from Everton’s naughty corner.
Barkley has cut a fairly peripheral figure at Goodison after refusing to sign a new contract with his boyhood team during the latter half of last season.
Indeed, the midfielder hasn’t featured in a senior match since the final league game of 2016/17, though a hamstring injury suffered in August has also played a large part in his continued absence.
Now, just one day on from Sam Allardyce admitting that he and the club are “resigned to losing” Barkley in January comes news that the 24-year-old may have already found himself new employ.
According to the Telegraph, Barkley is currently “on the brink” of making the move after Chelsea submitted a £15million bid for his services earlier this week.
The Blues could even complete the signing on Friday after talks accelerated over a deal […] amid suggestions Barkley was in London on Thursday.
This despite turning down a move to Stamford Bridge less than six months ago.
Obviously there’s a decent player in there somewhere and a rigorous ‘break-down-and-rebuild’ job under a top coach may be exactly what Barkley needs to unpack that potential but, with everybody fit, surely he’s not getting anywhere near that Chelsea midfield?
This has the whiff of the Scott Parker/Steve Sidwell/Daniel Sturridges about it, i.e. quite possibly the right move being made at the wrong time.