Everton’s Ross Barkley set for Chelsea medical
Midfielder in line to join champions for €16.8 million after summer move fell through
Ross Barkley is due to have a medical at Chelsea on Friday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty
Ross Barkley is due to have a medical at Chelsea on Friday ahead of a proposed £15m (€16.8m) transfer from Everton.
The Everton midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and new manager Sam Allardyce admitted on Thursday that the club is resigned to losing its homegrown talent, who has rejected offers to extend his stay at Goodison Park.
Chelsea renewed their approach to Everton after seeing a deadline day move for the 24-year-old collapse in the summer. The two clubs agreed a £35m (€39.5m) fee and Barkley personal terms with the Premier League champions in August, only to request more time to consider the deal as he recovered from a serious hamstring injury.
That delay looks likely to cost Barkley’s boyhood club £20m (€22.5m) in transfer revenue although Everton risk losing the England international for nothing in the summer and will reluctantly accept a cut-price move.
Antonio Conte explained on Friday why he wants to bring Barkley to Chelsea. “We are talking about an English player, a young player,” the manager said. “He has good prospects for Chelsea. I think the club decided for this investment also for his contract.
“I think this is a good opportunity for the club to buy this player. For sure he is a good prospect for Chelsea. But I repeat: for news, the club will inform you.”
Conte cautioned against expecting Barkley to make an immediate impact. “Don’t forget he had a bad injury, he had surgery,” he said. “This player has not played in seven months. In case this player signs for the club, we must have great patience. We have to hope to recover him very quickly, to try to help us for the rest of the season.”
Barkley has been at Everton since he was 11 years old, having been spotted by the club’s late and prolific former scout Sid Benson, and made 150 Premier League appearances.
His future at Goodison was thrown into doubt during Ronald Koeman’s reign as Everton manager, with the Dutch coach regularly criticising the midfielder in public and the player then stalling over a contract extension.
Koeman’s immediate replacement, David Unsworth, and permanent successor Allardyce both hoped a change in management would encourage Barkley to re-commit to Everton but that has not materialised. The England midfielder has not featured this season due to his recovery from hamstring surgery but returned to first-team training over the festive period. – Guardian service