Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be increasingly confident in their chances of prising wantaway midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton, but remain wary of increased interest from the Premier League champions Chelsea. Barkley is into the last year of his contract with the Toffees, and could potentially sign a pre-contract in January to leave on a free transfer.
As reported by Metro, Everton have significantly reduced their asking price for the 23-year-old, given his contract situation, and the fact that a recent hamstring injury has made him less appealing to potential suitors. The Toffees are prepared to slash their initial asking price of £50m by half to £25m, and Spurs are in pole position to sign the talented young player.
Only Mikel Arteta (10) has scored more Premier League goals from outside the box for Everton than Ross Barkley (8). [opta]— FTS Football (@FromTStands) May 12, 2017
Everton have already effectively replaced Barkley at the club, having splashed out £50m to bring in Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurðsson from Swansea City. The dependable midfielder will take Barkley's place as the creative force in Everton's midfield, clearing the exit route for Barkley to make a swift departure from Merseyside before the summer transfer window closes.
Spurs are set to bring in record signing Davinson Sánchez from Ajax this week, who is believed to be having a medical at the club today ahead of a £42m move. Barkley could well become the second player to join the club this summer, as Spurs have been relatively quiet while their Premier League rivals have been splashing the cash in preparation for the new season.
The Wembley Stadium-based side will be sure to keep an eye over their shoulder while pursuing Barkley, as Chelsea have emerged as recent candidates to sign the tenacious talent. The Blues are experiencing somewhat of a squad crisis, as they have sold and loaned a large number of players while failing to recruit the necessary numbers of bodies to replace them.