Chelsea’s frenetic end to the transfer window has stepped up a pace with the Premier League champions lodging a bid for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley.
The offer is believed to be worth around £25million and comes on the back of the £35m bid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chelsea will make a third offer for Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and are optimistic Swansea City will sanction the sale of striker Fernando Llorente before the transfer window shuts on Thursday night.
Everton originally valued Barkley at £50m at the start of the window, but are aware they will no longer get close to that figure and are now in talks with Chelsea over a deal.
Tottenham Hotspur have held a long-standing interest in Barkley and Everton will now hope they make a counter bid to try to drive the 23-year-old’s price back up.
Despite the fact Barkley is out for around three months with a hamstring injury and is in the final 12 months of his contract, Chelsea want to do a deal in this window.
They have not been put off by the injury, as there is a belief inside Stamford Bridge that, in time, Barkley could prove to be a real bargain.
Spurs believed they were in the driving seat in the chase for Barkley and must now act quickly to make sure they do not lose out to their London rivals.
Chelsea are waiting to find out if Oxlade-Chamberlain will agree to join them after having a £35m bid accepted by Arsenal on Monday.
There remains a fear that Liverpool could try to hijack their bid, which means Chelsea are trying to push the move through as quickly as possible.
Chelsea have told Oxlade-Chamberlain that he will become a winner at Stamford Bridge and to use Gary Cahill as inspiration as he deliberates over his future.
There were doubts as to whether central defender Cahill had made the right decision by joining Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in 2012, when the Blues already had John Terry and David Luiz.
But Cahill managed to force his way into the Chelsea team and has gone on to win every club honour, including the Champions League, and took over the captaincy from Terry. The 31-year-old has also made 55 England appearances.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is with Cahill on England duty this week and Chelsea believe their skipper is the perfect example for the former Southampton youngster to try to follow.
Although he would face competition to get into the Chelsea midfield from N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas, and would have to push ahead of Victor Moses or Marcos Alonso to play at wing-back, the Blues believe Oxlade-Chamberlain has the talent to make his mark at the club.
Chelsea have had two bids for Drinkwater rejected by Leicester, but are optimistic they can clinch his signing with a third offer as they also wait for the Foxes to sign a replacement.
Swansea have publicly insisted that Llorente is not for sale, but Chelsea believe they can do a deal with the Welsh club for around £15m before the window closes.
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The 22-year-old follows in the footsteps of older siblings Thorgan and Eden to link up with Chelsea’s development squad after making the switch from Hungarian club Ujpest.
Like his siblings, Kylian operates most effectively as an attacking midfielder or winger, offering versatility in the final third of the pitch.
He shows his obvious talent too, blessed with the killer goalscoring instinct Chelsea fans have come to expect from 26-year-old Eden in recent seasons.
He made 34 league appearances for Ujpest before joining Chelsea, scoring four goals.
Since news of the transfer broke online, supporters have been weighing in on their newest recruit.
“I’ve actually always wanted Kylian Hazard, Eden says he’s the most talented,” claimed one Chelsea account.
Another joked: “We’ve surely got to bring back Thorgan and have the Hazardous strike force.”
“Chelsea and the Hazards, a better love story than Twilight,” added a third.
“It wasn’t the Kylian we all hoped, but it will sure do for now.”
Thorgan and Eden joined Chelsea in 2012 – but Thorgan failed to make a first team appearance before being sold to Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2014.
It comes amid reports that the club are favourites to secure the signature of Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 24-year-old is thought to be edging closer to a £40m move after being lured by wages of around £220,000 a week.