Antonio Conte and Chelsea now "clear favourites" to land £50m English midfielder.

Chelsea look to have stolen a march on Tottenham and are preparing to meet the £50m asking price from Everton to sign Ross Barkley as we ...

Chelsea look to have stolen a march on Tottenham and are preparing to meet the £50m asking price from Everton to sign Ross Barkley as we look to bolster the English numbers within our ranks. 

People have been talking of Ross Barkley as a direct replacement for Nemanja Matic but I do not agree at all as both are very different players. In my view with the additional challenge of the Champions League this season it's clear that the manager wants two players for each position in the team with three Goalkeepers making up a squad of 25-players. The demands of the Champions League, Premier League and the two domestic cup competitions (which we are expected to challenge for and defend our Premier League crown) indicate that the squad will be rotated much more than last season.

I see Barkley as a player similar to that of Cesc Fabregas with the only difference being his engine to get up and down the pitch. Both are play makers and can unlock the door with a moment of magic and make their own contribution by scoring goals with Barkley having the potential to be the next Frank Lampard here if he gets his head down and works hard.

Think of Bakayoko and Kante as your two defensive midfielders and Barkley and Fabregas as alternative options to literally mix and match in games within our midfield. Barkley would give Conte a different option to last season and would adapt within a three-man midfield in my view. The fact that he is English is also vitally important as we look to bolster our numbers within the squad.

It had been looking like Tottenham were favourites to sign Barkley this summer after he had informed Everton of his decision to reject a new deal as he was looking for a different challenge at this stage of his career. However, reports state that Daniel Levy is only willing to spend £20m which has been firmly rejected by Everton.

Will Antonio Conte spend another £50m in the next few weeks on Ross Barkley, someone with immense talent and with the right guidance, someone who can flourish to become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League?

What do you think of Ross Barkley? Is he someone that could make a difference at Chelsea?

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