Premier League champions, Chelsea are close to agreeing on a deal for Everton’s contract rebel Ross Barkley according to reports.
The 24- year old England international will be the club’s first signing in the January transfer market as their manager is keen on improving his attacking midfield options.
The Blues were said to have been close to signing Barkley in the summer but a last-minute U-turn on the part of the player stopped the deal from progressing but the club have now returned and are reportedly in talks with the Merseyside club.
Barkley is currently in the last six months of his contract with Everton which would see him leave for free in the summer but Chelsea are believed to want him this month and as such are favourites ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who have also registered their interest.
Everton are believed to be resigned to losing their midfielder and have been without his services all season as he battles with a hamstring injury.
The Everton Academy-product is however close to a return which has seen Chelsea act fast in order to complete a deal as soon as possible.
A fee in the region of ₤15 million is being mooted for the deal which would be a bargain for a player of his obvious talents.
Chelsea are looking to improve their squad at the request of manager Antonio Conte who has been a huge admirer of Ross Barkley for a while now.