By Harry Sykes
Tottenham are battling Chelsea to sign Ross Barkley before the window shuts on Thursday, according to a report.
The Times claim the Premier League champions held talks with Everton about a deal for Barkley in the wake of their 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
It is said that Chelsea did not submit a formal bid for the attacking midfielder, whose future has been the subject of a drawn-out summer saga.
The Times report that Spurs are also pushing hard to sign Barkley ahead of Thursday’s deadline after holding a long-term interest in him.
Everton value the England international, 23, at £40million despite the fact he has entered the final year of his contract having rejected the offer of an extension from his boyhood club.
Barkley is also recovering from surgery on a hamstring injury and will be out until November.
Football Insider verdict:
With the transfer window entering the final throes, don’t bet against Tottenham chief Daniel Levy pulling off a last-gasp deal. He did it last summer, with the capture of Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle. That went horribly wrong, but Barkley is a different kettle of fish. A technically gifted ball carrier who can build the play and create goalscoring chances, the word is that Mauricio Pochettino rates him highly and wants to mould him into a deep-lying playmaker. But the price has to be right, first. Levy will be negotiating hard to seal the right deal for the club. This one could go down to the wire.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have pulled the plug on a transfer and Pochettino will fast-track a 17-year-old instead.