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Chelsea continue to insist on maintaining interest in Everton midfielder — report

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Everton v Watford - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Chelsea’s supposed interest in Ross Barkley isn’t new, but now that we’re getting close to the January transfer window, is once again becoming relevant. Accordingly, the Daily Mail are just the latest outlet to report on Chelsea’s supposed plan for next month of revisiting the Everton midfielder’s situation. This follows other recent reports from the likes of the Telegraph and others.

Both Chelsea and Tottenham were in close pursuit of Barkley over the summer, after the 24-year-old declared categorically that he wanted to leave the Toffees. But a series of unfortunate events derailed his not-so-well-laid plans, as an injury, surgery, and some hilarious bits of indecision (plus Everton refusing to deal with Spurs) left him stranded in the recovery room on Merseyside. Barkley almost signed with Chelsea on deadline day — although this was later denied by the player himself — only to give up on making the move in the final hour after he realized he would rather join Spurs.

Presumably, Barkley, who hasn’t played all season due to the aforementioned injury issues, would still prefer to join Spurs, but the narrative since the summer has stayed consistent in Chelsea trying for another pass. This has not changed since technical director Michael Emenalo went off to Monaco, so the idea must not have been his, or his alone, ufortunately.

On the plus side, while Barkley would not be an upgrade to the team, he would add some good homegrown depth to the squad — a bit like Danny Drinkwater in that sense and very much unlike the recently linked Thomas Lemar, who would add excellent but not homegrown (and much more expensive depth) to the squad. Since Barkley’s contract is expiring at the end of the season, his transfer fee might actually be a reasonable amount (£25 million seems to be the accepted value, which is a far cry from Everton £50 million asking price from six months ago).