Chelsea Medical to be done today – Conte completes first January signing for £15m

Chelsea are trying to rush through a deal to buy Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and ensure London rivals Tottenham Hotspur don’t beat them to another signing this season. According to Evening Standard, the Blues made a £15m bid for the England international last night and are determined to complete the switch as quickly as possible.

Barkley, 24, turned down a move to join Antonio Conte’s Chelsea on transfer deadline day in August, with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri then saying Everton had accepted a bid and Barkley had agreed terms. After the move failed to materialise, the midfielder tweeted that he did not have a medical “with any club at any point”.

“I decided it would be best to make a decision and assess all my options in January when fully fit,” he said.

The 24-year-old England man has yet to play this season after undergoing a hamstring surgery following a training injury but is now approaching match fitness after playing in a friendly behind closed doors a fortnight ago. He rejected a new deal at Everton and is out of contract at the end of this season, opening the door for a cut-price move.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce confirmed on Thursday that Barkley’s departure from Merseyside is just a matter of time and said that the club had practically given up trying to convince the player to stay.

“The club was resigned to losing Ross before I got here. I can’t see that changing,” the Everton manager said.

Spurs were hoping to acquire the midfielder on a free transfer in the summer, but it looks like Conte’s Chelsea have acted quickly to sign Barkley in a cut-price deal. Conte seemed to be frustrated after what happened on the deadline day in August when Spurs convinced Fernando Llorente to join them from Swansea.

However, this time, the Italian hasn’t repeated the same mistake and instead appears to have convinced Barkley to join us. The Blues are growing in confidence that Barkley will move to Stamford Bridge, but won’t relax until the deal is completed. It means Barkley would be leaving Goodison Park after 13 long years, having joined Everton as an 11-year-old in 2005.

The academy graduate has played 150 times for Everton in the Premier League, scoring 21 times since making his debut in 2011. Barkley is understood to be fit following his lengthy spell on the sidelines but should he pass his medical today, he is unlikely to be included in the matchday squad for Chelsea’s trip to Norwich in the FA Cup tomorrow.

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