Tottenham Hotspur could abandon their long-term pursuit of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. Reports from ESPN indicate that the Lilywhites are giving it a thought before placing a bid for the England international in the January transfer window.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino feels that the much-derided French midfielder Moussa Sissoko has improved this season and hence the lack of need for the services of Barkley. All this, after a summer of tiki-taka with the player for a transfer!
The Toffees playmaker made it clear to his club that he would leave Goodison Park this summer after rejecting their overtures of a new contract. Ronald Koeman decided that it would be wise to sell the player as his mind was set on a new challenge.
However, Everton’s valuation of the player was too steep, resulting in dilly-dallying from the club. Eventually, Spurs pulled off the deal – also encouraged by the fact that the player was injured.
Champions Chelsea made a last-ditch effort to sign him but the England international midfielder rejected a chance to join Antonio Conte at the Stamford Bridge. That was largely because Barkley felt he would get more chances under Pochettino at the White Hart Lane.
This sequence of events was supposed to have made Spurs the favourites to land Barkley at a price of around £30million in the January transfer window.
Now all that is set to change as the club adjusts to the recent upswing in Sissoko’s form. The French midfielder did not have the greatest of debut seasons last year after joining the club.
It was widely expected that Sissoko would leave the club, with many clubs in Europe interested in his services. However, the all-action French midfielder decided to stay put and fight for his place. It looks like it has paid off as Pochettino has been impressed with the improvement shown by the player in the season so far.
Barkley would have been a gamble for Spurs considering that he is hugely talented but not consistent enough. If Sissoko continues to show improvement, there is no reason why he can’t win back the fans and cement his position.