Everton boss Allardyce makes worrying admission about Barkley

Ross Barkley will undergo a medical at Chelsea today as the club closes in on a deal worth around £15 million for the midfielder.

Speaking on Thursday, Everton manager Sam Allardyce admitted that his club were braced to receive further offers from "some of the big boys" for Barkley and conceded that his departure from Goodison Park is inevitable.

Barkley has rejected a new deal at Everton, who he joined as an 11-year-old in 2005, with his current contract due to expire at the end of this season.

"I think the club was resigned before I got here that they were going to lose Ross".

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It remains to be seen if Chelsea's willingness to capture Barkley sparks Tottenham into life but Blues boss Conte is intent on strengthening his ranks, with a move for West Ham United forward Andy Carroll also under consideration.

And now, barring late hitches, he is likely to secure a move to Chelsea. But they hesitated for too long, hoping to sign him for free in the summer, allowing Chelsea to move into pole position to sign the highly-rated English midfielder.

Barkley nearly joined the reigning Premier League champions last summer but decided against the transfer deadline day switch at the last minute. Antonio Conte would be happy with his addition to the squad as he has repeatedly appealed to the board to make more signings despite signing a midfielder not being a priority.

  • Tabitha Byrd