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Tottenham end interest in Ross Barkley

On to other (and hopefully better) targets!

2017 Premier League Arsenal v Everton May 21st Photo by Simon West/Action Plus via Getty Images

According to Sky Sports News, Tottenham Hotspur have ended their interest in Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, paving the way for him to complete a transfer to Chelsea. The Blues are expected to announce the completion of his signing as early as today.

This comes on the heels of last night’s news that Everton had accepted a bid for Barkley and that the midfielder was close to moving to Stamford Bridge. Tottenham had been interested in signing Barkley, a player that Mauricio Pochettino reportedly liked very much, since last summer, but Barkley apparently was swayed by Chelsea’s persistence in trying to bring him in. (And also the higher weekly wages, probably.)

Sky also reported that Barkley had completed a medical on Thursday night. The BBC reports that Barkley’s fee will be in the area of £15m, substantially lower than the £50m that Everton were asking for him this summer.

I’ve broken through my Stockholm Syndrome-induced quasi-disappointment and come out on the other side of this one. With Barkley only recently coming back from a serious injury, it was unlikely that he’d be a significant contributor to this Spurs side this season anyway. On the other hand, he would’ve been a home-grown addition to Tottenham’s Champions League side, and if you believe in Pochettino’s ability to player-whisper guys into excellent players, £15m doesn’t seem like a lot of money to pay for someone with Barkley’s supposed upside.

But oh well. If you had told me this summer that we’d be dropping interest in January, I’d likely have leapt for joy. It’s been a weird year. So, I guess, “bye Felicia?”

The scuttlebutt is that Mauricio Pochettino has his eye on a couple of targets in the January transfer window, but that he is happy with his squad. Spurs may only make signings this month if Daniel Levy gets an exceptional deal or if a long-term target becomes available. This would be consistent with past January windows; under Pochettino Spurs have rarely purchased in January, and those purchases have tended to be with an eye toward the long term, like Dele Alli’s signing and subsequent loan back to MK Dons.