Chelsea close in on Everton's Ross Barkley

Chelsea set to announce £15m signing of English attacking midfielder

Ross Barkley celebrates a goal for Everton

Barkley is in the final six-months of his contract at Everton and will thus leave on the cheap with Everton deciding to cash in rather than losing the player in the summer for nothing.

Barkley fell out of favour under former Everton boss Ronald Koeman following his refusal to sign a new contract last season.

New boss Sam Allardyce has always been resigned to the playmaker's departure and Tottenham were expected to rival Chelsea for Barkley.

Chelsea are ready to intensify their pursuit of Everton wantaway and Tottenham Hotspur target Ross Barkley after learning of the playmaker's recent return to full training.

Ross Barkley now looks more likely than ever to be a Chelsea player by the end of the month, according to Ladbrokes.

Chelsea have the option of waiting until the summer to try and pilfer Barkley for free, but Antonio Conte's side have instead made a decision to get ahead of Tottenham and any other interested parties by offering Everton a fee and concluding a deal this month. Chelsea are about to land Ross Barkley at the cut-rate price of €17 million.

Barkley, capped 22 times by England, has previously expressed a desire to play Champions League football and would be eligible to play for Chelsea in their last-16 clash against Barcelona in February if he completes a move to the club.

The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker have both proven their credentials while out on loan, yet Chelsea appear to have very little interest in integrating them into the first-team squad.

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