Premier League champions Chelsea are set to reignite their interest in Everton playmaker Ross Barkley during the January transfer window, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claims that the Blues have continued to keep close tabs on the 23-year-old despite failing to secure his signature on the final day of the summer transfer window.

The newspaper reports that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is desperate to add more options to his squad when the transfer window reopens in the new year in order to keep up with league leaders Manchester City.

The report claims that the West London club are keen to pursue the Everton ace because he is set to return from injury and his previous price tag of £35million is likely to be lowered as his contract at Goodison Park is coming to an end.

The England international has struggled with a hamstring injury which has prevented him from making a single appearance for the Toffees this season.

Although Barkley failed to impress former Everton boss Ronald Koeman, the midfielder still managed to contribute with six goals and nine assists in all competitions last season.

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Barkley’s contract at the club expires at the end of the current season.

Football Insider verdict

Given the fact that Koeman has left his post at Goodison Park, it will be even harder for Chelsea to acquire the midfielder’s services during the January transfer window. Barkley will be desperate to prove his worth at the club when he returns to full fitness and following their miserable start to the campaign, Everton will be desperate to keep hold of him. There’s no doubt that Barkley will be tempted to a move to Stamford Bridge as he’ll have a better chance of securing silverware and playing Champions League but he will struggle to become a regular starter with the Blues. If he wants to be considered as a potential option for England in next year’s World Cup, he should stay on Merseyside and attempt to rediscover his form.

In other Everton news, BBC pundit tips two-time Premier League manager of the month for managerial job.

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