Chelsea has been dealt a minor blow in their pursuit of a transfer target as Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has come out to say that he will sit down with Ross Barkley and attempt to persuade him to remain on Merseyside.
The Blues have been keen on signing the England international for a long time now and Antonio Conte, who had hoped to sign him last summer, was expected to have another go at signing the 23-year-old in January.
Barkley will be out of contract at the end of the season and has made it clear that he didn’t wish to extend his deal with the club, however, that was under former manager Ronald Koeman, it may well be different now that the Dutchman has departed.
Unsworth has already spoken with Barkley stating
“I spoke to Ross this morning,” said Unsworth. “He is working really hard in the gym, and coming along nicely.
“My opinion of Ross is that I would love him to stay. I would absolutely love it. He is a top talent. Everton has done great for him, and he has done great for Everton. He could one of the all-time greats here.
“I would love him to be persuaded by myself and the chairman and Farhad (Moshiri) to stay and sign a contract. We shouldn’t be losing players of his quality. He’s a top player who has come through our ranks. We shouldn’t be losing our own players. I feel that very strongly.”
Asked about speaking to Barkley about a new contract Unsworth said added,
“I haven’t spoken to him about that since I spoke to the chairman yesterday”, added Unsworth. “I will be doing.
“I would love to have a cup of tea with him and discuss the possibility of signing and staying here because we love him. And I know he loves Everton. I want everyone to come together and hopefully, we can thrash something out with Ross.”
The big problem for Everton is that Barkley wants to win silverware and there is very little hope of that at this time, the club lacks real quality and depth and Barkley knows this, he also knows that if he moves to a club like Chelsea he stands far more chance of winning trophies and enhancing his England claims.
What we have here is a classic case of ambition v love for the club and it is rare that love for a club wins out but let’s wait and see if Unsworth has the persuasive abilities that Koeman clearly lacked.