UPDATE: 11:18pm BST/6:18pm EST
In the most perfect embodiment of the meme “Well, that escalated quickly”, Matt Law is now reporting that the deal with Chelsea is almost done and could be announced as soon as Friday.
The latest rumor on Ross Barkley to Chelsea have bid about £15m for the Englishman’s services. Frankly, the way I personally feel about Chelsea, I wouldn’t sell them a two legged mule for that price, but this is where we sit. These reports come from Matt Law and the Telegraph, so the reliability seems pretty good.
The Everton youth product in question hasn’t actually suited up for the Toffees this year after suffering an early season injury. He was in the midst of a medical for Chelsea at the end of the summer window when he backed out for reasons that we still don’t have a great explanation for.
Ross Barkley had the chance to be a hometown hero for life at Everton. He doesn’t seem to appreciate the value of this and has been pushing for a move for most of the last year. Whether he leaves now for a paltry fee or in the summer for free, what should have been a promising career at Everton seems to be done.
The fee is really not enough to matter. It’s six in one, half dozen in the other. Selling him now is better on the balance sheet, if he stays until summer maybe we get a few rotational performances out of him and gain a couple points in the league table with his help.
From Chelsea’s perspective, getting Barkley would be nothing more than an addition of English blood to their ranks. For homegrown and commercial reasons, having domestic talent can be a big plus. A club like Everton has plenty of it, a club like Chelsea, well, not so much.
It’s interesting that they have pushed forward with Ross simply because the talent director that began the pursuit, Michael Emenalo, is no longer with Chelsea. But it seems his legacy continues at Stamford Bridge. If Everton doesn’t run the price up too high, this will likely be done in the near future.