There’s news on the Ross Barkley to Tottenham Hotspur front: Everton have finally acquiesced and dropped their asking price for the England international midfielder. Spurs, however, still aren’t taking the bait.
Everton have reportedly told Spurs that Barkley can be had for £35m, which is down significantly from the insane £50m that Tottenham was quoted earlier in the summer. That report is from the Mirror, which is kinda suspect sourcing, but it’s still plausible, especially considering the absolutely bonkers transfer fees that players are going for in this particular window.
In fact, contextually it’s almost reasonable. In a summer where Manchester City can spend £110m on fullbacks and Gylfi Sigurdsson is a £50m player, £35m for a 24-year old midfielder with full England caps isn’t actually too shabby. Sure, it’s 1.2 Sissokos, but it’s not completely bats—t crazy, and money apparently doesn’t mean anything this year anyway.
But this is Daniel Levy we’re talking about. If Everton says that Barkley is now worth £35m, Levy’s going to come back with a counteroffer of £20m + £10m in performance-based incentives, and he’d be right to do so. Barkley is a talented player with a lot of potential, but he’s on the outs with Ronald Koeman and WILL be leaving the club, plus he’s in the final year of his contract. He didn’t feature in either of Everton’s two Europa League qualifiers, and unless I missed something he also didn’t play in any of Everton’s preseason friendlies. Combine that with the fact that Everton are going to want to recoup a little of the £100m that they’ve spent on players so far, and Spurs have an awful lot of leverage.
Put aside the fact that you probably don’t want Barkley joining Tottenham for a second. If he’s going to come to Spurs, and he probably is, you best believe that Daniel Levy is going to get him to come for the absolute lowest possible fee, even if it takes him until deadline day to accomplish it. By that point I may want to repeatedly bang my head against the wall to make the pain stop, but at least I’ll know through my catatonic haze that the club probably got a pretty good deal.