Chelsea round-up: Everton talks over Barkley; Oxlade-Chamberlain deal close; Conte reacts to

Chelsea have begun talks with Everton over a potential deal for midfielder Ross Barkley, according to The Telegraph. Chelsea know that their work is cut out given the poor relationship between the two clubs since a failed move for John Stones, but are hoping to beat Tottenham to Barkley’s signature.

Spurs are prepared to pay £20 million with a further £8 million in add-ons, considering the fact that his contract expires next summer and he is currently sidelined for three months with a hamstring injury. Chelsea may have to beat that in order to seal a deal.

An alternative, or another potential signing, could be Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Guardian say that Chelsea are confident that they are in pole position to secure his arrival for a fee of £35 million before Thursday’s transfer window deadline.

However, the Mirror have claimed that Liverpool could provide some late competition for the England international. The Reds were linked with him earlier this summer but Chelsea did look like his most likely destination, though his report seems to suggest that Liverpool could actually be the favourites to land the midfielder.

Such additions will be required if the club are to compete on all fronts, including the Champions League. Antonio Conte spoke to the press and gave his opinion on the club’s draw against Atletico Madrid, Roma and Qarabag in the group stage, being quoted by Football.London as saying:

“It’s a tough group stage but when you play this type of competition you must be prepared to face strong teams, the best teams in Europe. I think in this moment it’s very difficult to tell whether it’s a good group or a bad group. It’s important to play well in this type of game and to try to perform out best.”

The former winners will be keen to be contenders for the crown again this year, having missed out on qualification to take part in the competition last season.

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Chelsea Back In For This Want-Away English Midfield Ace: How Will He Fit In?

Having taken all three points from their trip to Wembley, Chelsea were back to winning ways last weekend and will hope to continue their run in the upcoming games in the league. However, Antonio Conte is evidently unhappy with the options at his disposal and still wants to add a player or two to his first team, to make sure that his side is well equipped for the challenges this lie ahead.

This has seen Chelsea linked with some of the finest talents in world football and one link that refuses to die down is Everton star, Ross Barkley.

The English midfielder is fed up with the lack of progress at the Goodison Park and has rejected a new contract earlier this summer. He is not up for sale, and with less than a year left on his contract, could be available for just under £30m before the deadline day.

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly close to sealing a deal for the player but reports from the Telegraph claim that Chelsea are still pondering over a bid for the midfielder this summer. So is Barkley a player Chelsea need this season?

Known for his aggressive approach on the field and ability to create chances in the final third, the 23-year old is a versatile midfielder who can play as a part of the attacking trio or as a part of the midfield. His strength in hold up play and technical ability with the ball at his feet make him one of the most exciting midfielders in England at the moment.

He has 21 goals and 21 assists in 150 Premier League appearances to add to his 22 international appearances and is a player most teams in England will want in their squad. He can play through the middle or on the wing and will be a huge addition for Chelsea, who are short of attacking talent at the moment.

Having asked Diego Costa to leave, Chelsea have spent on Alvaro Morata this summer but the Spaniard is in his first season in the country and may take time to settle in. Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard are the options for two roles behind Morata while Michy Batshuayi will act as a backup for the Spanish striker this season.

This is a decent first team lineup for the Blues but they have no backup in the squad after those names and have been actively scouting for such additions. Barkley can not only provide backup to the first team, he can also establish himself in the first team if given enough chances by Conte. His experience in England will surely help but should Chelsea spend on Barkley?

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