One of Tottenham Hotspur’s top targets, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, is reported to be being monitored by Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea, who could potentially hijack the deal for the England international.
Barkley is said to be the top target for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, and while Spurs remain at the front of the queue for the midfielder, they run the risk of seeing Barkley join one of their rivals the longer they wait.
Everton have put a £50 million price tag on the head of Barkley, which will more than likely not be met by any of the player’s potential suitors, as he enters the final year of his contract with the Merseyside club.
United and Chelsea could pay Barkley over the mooted £100,000-a-week wages if the players price tag lowers later in the transfer window, which creates a problem for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
The longer the stand-off between Spurs and Everton continues over the 23-year-olds sale price, the higher the likelihood that United or Chelsea will officially put their hat into the ring and place an offer.
Everton would welcome a late bidding war for the player’s services, but it is believed that Levy would be unable to match the personal terms that the other clubs could offer.
It had been reported earlier in the window that Barkley was keen to join Spurs, as he is reportedly impressed with what the manager is doing at the club and knows many of their players from international duty, such as Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
The midfielder is currently recovering from groin surgery that will keep him from playing for the next month, but he may very well find himself at a new club within that time – which one remains to be seen.