Just by way of warning, this story may make you want to sit in a dark corner somewhere and huff glue. If Matt Law, writing in the Telegraph, is any indication, Spurs have NOT given up their pursuit of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, and is preparing a £20m bid for him despite the player’s injured hamstring that will keep him out for a few months.
Despite the fact Barkley is set to be out for three months after tearing his hamstring in training, Spurs are readying a formal offer for the 23-year-old.
Talks between Tottenham and Everton are expected to take place this week, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy prepared to pay £20m up front, with the possibility of a further £8m in add-ons.
— Matt Law, The Telegraph
After a long process of slowly talking myself into the reality that this was going to happen, £20m was about the point where I’d start feeling slightly ok about Spurs spending money for Ross Barkley, a guy who I don’t find especially good and dramatically overpriced. But that was for a fully healthy Ross Barkley, not a Ross Barkley with a damaged hamstring who won’t be ready to play until possibly January, and then still won’t have had much training with Mauricio Pochettino’s first team in order to learn his system.
To be fair, £20m seems like a halfway decent price, but only in the context that Everton is on record as asking for a bats—t crazy £50m for a player in the final year of his contract. Law also suggests that Chelsea are considering making a play for Barkley too, presumably so they can ship him off to Vitesse like they do all their other young players.
I get that he has potential and that this could be considered an attempt to play the long game with regards to player development. In this market, £20m for a player of Barkley’s potential might even be a pretty good deal. But the hamstring complicates matters, and Spurs need reinforcements in their squad now.
Combine Barkley’s potential fee with his wages which some suggest could be around £100k/week, i.e. up there with Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane, and the outlay over 5 years is £45m. For Ross Barkley, when his contract expires this summer. The only real reason to do that is if you’re convinced that waiting means taking the risk that Chelsea might scoop him up just to mess with us.
I’m just not sure it’s worth it.