At the age of 24, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is at a crucial stage of his playing career, and he is about to make the biggest decision of his life as the transfer window opens.

It was publicly known that the England international came very close to joining Chelsea in the summer, and some reports even state that he went as far as travelling to London, partaking in a medical, and then deciding not to join at the very last minute in order to regain full fitness before making his decision.

Barkley has suffered a number of injury setbacks during his career and has not kicked a ball all season. However, reports state that he is nearing full fitness once again and aims to make his next move within this month.

His contract finishes this year and Everton are keen to gain some profit on a player who has come through the youth ranks at the club. Its unlikely that we will see any other result here than Barkley leaving this month.

Chelsea are still very interested in capturing his services with Head Coach Antonio Conte reportedly an admirer of the versatile midfielder.

They will be rivalled by Tottenham Hotspur, who’s Manager Mauricio Pochettino has a similar admiration for the England man. Spurs are looking to add further talent and depth to their squad and Barkley has been linked with them for some time.

Chelsea usually leave their business until the latter stages of the window, but should they wish to secure their target they might need to act faster here.

Simon Phillips