Newcastle United and West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing struggling Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley this summer.
Simon Phillips has told Give Me Sport that Premier League clubs Newcastle United and West Ham United are among several top-flight outfits interested in signing struggling Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley this summer.
Once seen as the biggest talent in English football, Barkley’s career has dramatically fallen off the cliff since joining Chelsea from Everton in 2018. He has endured a difficult time with niggling injuries throughout his stint and has struggled with a lack of game-time at the club.
There have been flashes of promise here and there, but overall, he has remained at the periphery of the first-team squad and failed to live up to the glowing potential in his early days. The 28-year-old notably spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Aston Villa but returned to Stamford Bridge last summer after failing to leave an imprint, with Dean Smith deciding against a permanent move.
Last season, Barkley only started once for Chelsea in the top-flight, managing just 452 minutes of football action across all competitions, scoring once in the process. Now, at 28, Barkley needs to take the right step as it is unlikely he will garner enough playing time to get his flailing career back on track in Thomas Tuchel’s side this season. As a result, an exit from Chelsea could be on the cards.
Despite his underperformance in recent years, the struggling English midfielder is surprisingly not short of suitors, with a host of Premier League clubs waiting in line for his signature. And it looks like ambitious clubs such as Newcastle United and West Ham United could turn out to be possible destinations for the Chelsea outcast.
Recent reports have already revealed that Newcastle United hold some interest in Ross Barkley, and they could perhaps consider the Chelsea midfielder as a cheaper alternative for James Maddison. The Newcastle chiefs have been trying to bring Maddison to St. James’ Park but have already had two bids turned down by Leicester City, who want £60 million for the English international.
It remains to be seen whether Newcastle will return to the board with a third bid, given it is a hefty sum of money to invest in just one player. But dropping from Maddison to Barkley, with the greatest respect to the Chelsea midfielder, would be a gigantic step-down and quite underwhelming from a Newcastle fan’s perspective.
The same could be said about West Ham. It is unlikely they would pursue Barkley, who has been on the decline for a long time. It is difficult to see how this would be a financially viable move for both Newcastle and West Ham, particularly with Barkley netting £100,000 per week at Chelsea, and considering that both clubs refused to take up Jesse Lingard in a similar position.
Furthermore, both Newcastle United and West Ham United have good midfield options, suggesting that this is a case of lazy journalism, with the same outlet spinning the exact story back in January.