Tottenham are reportedly preparing a £20m bid for Everton ace Ross Barkley, but they will have to fend off rivals Chelsea in order to sign him.
The 23-year-old is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and is expected to be out for three months, but that hasn’t stopped interested parties pushing on with their bids to sign him ahead of the transfer deadline at the end of the month.
According to The Telegraph, talks between Tottenham and Everton are expected to take place this week over a deal for Barkley, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said to be prepared to offer £20m up front, with an additional £8m in bonuses.
However, it’s added that Chelsea are also ready to bid for the England international, while his potential arrival wouldn’t affect their pursuit of Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater as Antonio Conte eyes serious reinforcements in the next week and a half.
Barkley is in the final year of his contract at Goodison Park, and so as noted by the Telegraph, Everton’s valuation of £50m earlier this summer was always going to be unrealistic and so they have had to drop their demands significantly.
Instead, they could be tempted to accept Tottenham’s £28m bid in total, but the discussion of wages has come up again given the structure in place at Spurs which will limit them when it comes to their top established targets.
That could give Chelsea a window of opportunity to steal a march and take the advantage in signing Barkley, but first an agreement must be reached with Everton and that isn’t a done deal yet either.