Chelsea 'on brink of signing Ross Barkley from Everton'

Official! Ross Barkley joins Chelsea from Everton for £15 million

Chelsea are closing in on a £15million deal for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and could confirm the move before the weekend, according to reports.

Barkley was close to joining Chelsea in the summer but pulled out at the last minute after deciding to first recover from his long-term injury and then decide upon his future.

The England global has now returned to training after a painstaking rehabilitation and Antonio Conte, the Chelsea head coach, wants to bolster his squad in January.

But Chelsea were happy to pay to secure his services in January, with Antonio Conte enthused by Barkley's potential.

Premier League champions Chelsea have been linked with a shock move for an Everton star as they look to bolster their squad in this transfer window.

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Speaking on Thursday, Everton manager Sam Allardyce admitted that his club were braced to receive further offers from "some of the big boys" for Barkley and conceded that his departure from Goodison Park is inevitable.

Barkley's exit will bring an end to his association with Everton, the club he joined as an 11-year-old and represented more than 150 times.

Barkley's current contract is set to expire at the end of the season and he has turned down the opportunity to sign a new deal so the Toffees have no choice but to sell him this month or they will lose him for free at the end of the season.

Barkley - who has missed all season with a hamstring problem - is now back to full fitness and will be ready to play as soon as he completes the move.