According to reports in The Telegraph, Tottenham Hotspur are ready to go head-to-head with Premier League title rivals Chelsea with a January bid to sign £20m-rated Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, with Mauricio Pochettino believing he could be a potential long-term replacement for the injury-hit Mousa Dembele.
Well, The Telegraph says that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had made the 23-year-old one of his top targets during the summer transfer window, but a hamstring injury complicated a potential deal before Barkley rejected a £35m move to Chelsea on deadline day.
The Telegraph says that with the England international’s contract due to run out at the end of the season, he could be available for around £20m in the New Year.
The report adds that Pochettino believes that the Toffees star is the perfect man to compete for a place with Dembele alongside Eric Dier or Victor Wanyama in the middle of the park, and a partnership with the former could also help England boss Gareth Southgate out as he looks for his perfect midfield combination.
Despite sometimes struggling to perform consistently during his time at Goodison Park, Barkley has also shown plenty of glimpses of the quality he possesses and that obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed by Pochettino.
The Argentine boss obviously feels that he can develop the player and with The Telegraph saying that Dembele needs to be managed carefully after summer surgery on his foot could mean that he is never 100% fit, he needs another option in central midfield.
Many Spurs supporters would question whether both he and Dele Alli could play in the same team considering they are both used to playing in the number 10 position, but The Telegraph adds that Pochettino believes that the 23-year-old could be used in a deeper role.
A move does seem likely, yes.
The fact that Barkley turned down a move to Chelsea at the end of the summer transfer window suggests that he may feel a move to Tottenham would be more beneficial for his career as he is likely to get more game time under Pochettino.
In addition, as he could be available for £20m it certainly means he is right in their price bracket too, and it would probably be a surprise if the deal didn’t go through in the New Year.