Transfer insider Dean Jones has delivered his verdict on Celtic‘s reported interest in Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, with the future of the Englishman developing into a hot topic with just a matter of weeks left in the transfer window.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the reliable source has revealed that the 28-year-old’s agent is currently trying to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge for his client before the September deadline, with the Hoops – along with a host of other clubs – reportedly keen on a swoop.
Amid that interest, Jones revealed that while a move to the Premiership champions could be an ideal solution, the player’s potential salary demands could prove a notable obstacle, saying: “I think this is a move that suits all parties, but the big sticking point is whether Celtic can find a way to pay his wages.
“I think if it can get done, it will, because his agent has been working to find him a new club because they know he’s got no future at Chelsea.”
As referenced above, the 6 foot 2 ace is likely to depart his current club with just a year remaining on his contract, having not been handed a shirt number by Blues manager Thomas Tuchel for the new season.
Although his reported £96k-per-week wages could well hamper the Old Firm side’s chances of getting a deal over the line, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou must surely do all he can to make it happen, with Barkley set to be a real statement signing, such is his undoubted quality.
With the Hoops having lost their chief creative midfield spark following Tom Rogic’s departure at the end of last season, the arrival of the former Everton man would no doubt be an ideal solution to fill that void, despite his woes in England at present.
The £10.8m-rated playmaker has been reduced to a bit-part role in west London since his arrival from Merseyside in 2018, scoring just 12 goals and providing 11 assists in 100 games in all competitions.
Prior to that, however, the Liverpudlian had emerged as a leading figure at Goodison Park, notably providing 55 goal contributions in 179 games for the Toffees across all fronts, having risen through the youth ranks at the Merseyside club.
Once likened to England icons Wayne Rooney and Paul Gascoigne, the attacking midfielder possesses undeniable natural talent, with his time at Chelsea having simply not allowed him to show it due to the fierce competition for places.
Equally, at international level, while he has not featured under Gareth Southgate since October 2019, he has managed a respectable tally of six goals and six assists in 33 caps, showcasing his ability to make an impact at the highest level.
With Champions League experience also under his belt, the former Aston Villa loanee could prove integral to the Scottish champions’ European voyage this season, with pundit Noel Whelan suggesting that the midfielder still has “loads to offer”.
At just 28, Barkley has more than enough time to try and rejuvenate his career, with the case of Joe Hart proving that Celtic Park can be the ideal place to do just that.
It may represent something of a gamble, yet Postecoglou must simply ensure that a deal for the creative gem goes ahead.