Everton had a slow start to their transfer window but have made up for it over the last week with Ruben Vinagre and Dwight McNeil joining the squad at Goodison Park, and now another new arrival could be making their way to Merseyside.
According to 90min, multiple sources have now claimed that Everton are in advanced talks to reunite with Ross Barkley this summer.
As per the report, Barkley is keen to return to his boyhood club and the powers at Goodison Park only need to fine-tune the small details with Chelsea before he makes a permanent move.
Frank Lampard is in the transfer market to improve his squad ahead of the new Premier League campaign following a difficult relegation scrap last season, and Barkley would be a great addition to offer experience in the midfield – but the signing wouldn’t come without controversy.
Despite Everton’s desperation to bolster their squad, it will be doubtful that Barkley would be too warmly welcomed upon his return to Goodison Park by the supporters who were furious when the midfielder made his move to Chelsea back in January 2018.
Nevertheless, the Toffees boss is no stranger to working with the 28-year-old gem, as Lampard worked well with Barkley at Stamford Bridge and is known to be a huge admirer of the player.
The former Chelsea boss lavished praise on the midfielder back in 2020, hailing him “very complete” in a post-match press conference:
“He has got great quality and I knew that. I think what he is doing is he is playing a very complete role. Obviously, he always has that goal threat with his technical qualities: right and left foot, great strikes. I have seen that and Ross has been absolutely dedicated to the cause.”
The £100k-per-week talent has seen his game-time dwindle under Thomas Tuchel, making just six appearances in the Premier League last season with one opportunity in the starting line-up, so there is no doubt he will want to move on in order to get regular first-team football – something Lampard will be capable of providing.
With Fabian Delph’s contract expiration and Donny Van de Beek returning to Manchester United after his loan spell, there is certainly the opportunity for a strong and experienced midfielder to come into the team to offer a dominant presence in the centre of the pitch and Lampard will need him to add depth.
As a result, the signing of Barkley would be a great piece of business for the Toffees, but the player will need to win over the Goodison Park faithful and prove to them over the season ahead that it was the right decision for him to return to Merseyside.