According to Football Insider, Leeds United are plotting a late move for Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.
Two games into the Premier League season, and the Whites have already served up a great deal of entertainment, being involved in a pair of unbelievable 4-3 results – one going their way against Fulham, and the other going against them at Liverpool.
Off the pitch, Marcelo Bielsa’s side have enjoyed a good time in the transfer market, already luring the likes of Rodrigo and Robin Koch to Elland Road. And now, Football Insider claim they are planning a late window swoop for Barkley as a potential alternative to Udinese man Rodrigo De Paul.
The report adds that Chelsea could allow Barkley to leave on a loan deal as they look to trim their wage bill, with the England international of course having already spent time at Leeds back in the 2012/2013 season under Neil Warnock when he was on loan there from Everton.
It’s safe to say that since Barkley burst onto the scene for Everton all those years ago, that he hasn’t realised the kind of potential and hype that surrounded him.
The now 26-year-old managed just 27 goals and 28 assists in 179 games for the Toffees, before making a rather cut-price move to fellow Premier League side Chelsea, where his form has fallen off even more – in 86 matches for the Blues, he’s scored just 11 times and set up only 11 too.
Despite his struggles, some, like ex-Leeds man Rio Ferdinand, are convinced that he can eventually turn his career around. The former England defender said: “He’s got huge potential, great with his feet, drives at people. Decision-making has probably been his issue, getting goals and assists at the top end of the pitch. The potential we’ve known about for many years.”
The £100k-a-week earning ace however could end up reviving his career with another loan spell at Elland Road, this time under Bielsa. At 26, he’s almost a decade younger than Leeds’ chief creator, Pablo Hernandez, and if he stays fit and gets a regular run of game-time, could finally flourish under someone who can actually coach and give him that trust.
Bielsa could decide that Barkley would be best served playing alongside Hernandez and having the Spaniard almost take up a mentoring role. And as just a season-long loan, it’s a deal that makes sense on multiple levels.