Tottenham Hotspur's attempts to sign Everton midfielder Ross Barkley are still mired in difficulties amid contrasting reports regarding their intent to acquire the England international. Maurico Pochettino's side have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old for the last 12 months but a deal is seemingly no closer to being completed.
The Daily Mail has reported that Spurs are ready to abandon their long-running pursuit of Barkley though the player is still expected to leave Goodison Park this summer. Barkley has less than 12 months on his Toffees contract and manager Ronald Koeman says he will be sold this summer if an extension cannot be agreed. His future was muddied further last week when he missed the pre-season opener in Tanzania, though the club claim it was due to a groin injury.
But The Independent says Tottenham are ready to step up endeavors to sign Barkley with Everton ready to reduce their £50m asking price. Koeman wants to bring Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson to the club and with Barkley into the final year of his contract the club are ready to reach a compromise with their Premier League rivals.
Everton want to offload Barkley this summer to ensure they recoup of fee for a player who has been with them since the age of 12. Tottenham are seemingly the only side interested in the player, who wants a deal worth £120,000-a-week if he is to stay on Merseyside, and there is a willingness on both sides for a deal to be completed.
But the tale is indicative of a summer in which Tottenham have failed to make a single signing and is threatening to see them lose ground on their rivals. Kyle Walker last week joined Manchester City for a record fee for an English player but the search to reinforce the squad has yet to begin with less than four weeks to go until the start of the season.
Both aforementioned publications claim that Tottenham's hopes of signing FC Porto's Ricardo Pereira are rapidly reducing with the deal for the €25m full-back - seen as a replacement for Walker - proving more difficult to complete than first thought. Kieran Trippier finished last season as first choice on the right and could be set to start where he left off at the begin of the new term.