Everton midfielder Ross Barkley will reject a move to Chelsea for a second time and instead join Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window, reports suggest. The England international was on the brink of moving to Stamford Bridge on deadline day [31 August] last week but U-turned from the move prior to undergoing a medical and will consider his future again in the new year.
The 23-year-old is currently recovering from surgery on a torn hamstring and is not expected to play again until November at the earliest having been ruled out for three months. Such an absence played a central role in Barkley deciding his future and he will ponder his options again when the transfer window reopens in January 2018.
According to The Sunday Mirror it is Tottenham that Barkley would prefer to join – rather than Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino, it is anticipated, will reignite his interest in January in the hope of landing the playmaker in a cut-price deal.
Chelsea had a £35m offer for Barkley accepted on the final day of the summer transfer window but it remains to be seen what Everton's valuation of the player will be in the new year when just six months will remain on his contract, allowing Tottenham to acquire him at a cut price. Having been injured since the end of last season, there will also be questions over his fitness with Ronald Koeman having no plans to use Barkley when he returns to full fitness.
If Tottenham and Everton are unable to agree a fee, then the north Londoners could snap up Barkley for nothing next summer. Barkley, meanwhile, will train away from the first team to recuperate from his latest injury and prove his fitness to potential suitors.
Reports on deadline day, which were initially substantiated by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, suggested that Barkley withdrew from a move to Chelsea while taking a medical ahead of his switch to the Premier League champions. But Barkley has rejected those suggestions and confirmed the decision was motivated by his current injury plight.
"Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point," he wrote on Twitter. "I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit."