Premier League • England

EXCLUSIVE: Leeds, Newcastle on alert as Chelsea to make January playmaker decision

Reece James and Ross Barkley in action for Chelsea

Chelsea are deciding whether to let Ross Barkley leave in the January transfer window, after Thomas Tuchel gave him a chance to impress in recent weeks, TEAMtalk understands.

The 27-year-old started the draw with Burnley, which was the first time he had been named in the starting line-up for the Blues since August 2019. However, he was taken off with 17 minutes to go and replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the disappointing draw.

Barkley was the subject of bids in the summer to take him on-loan, with Burnley – ironically – the closest to landing him.

The England midfielder has just over 18-months left on his current deal. However, it remains to be seen if he can earn an extension at Stamford Bridge.

We understand that Barkley himself believes he can still force his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans for the World Cup finals in Qatar and he is a player that in the past has been picked by the Three Lions boss.

Newly bought Newcastle United are understood to be leading the chase. However, Leeds and former Everton club are also keen – with a loan to buy option favoured.

Ross Barkley has big decision to make over Chelsea future

Ross Barkley has big decision to make over Chelsea future

Burnley, Leeds, Everton and Newcastle are all keen to sign England hopeful Barkley in the January window

But Newcastle need a number of players in January, and they may not be able to tie up one of their slots on him  – although there is no doubting they can afford his sizeable wages.

Shevchenko targets Chelsea raid

Meanwhile, new Genoa boss, and former Chelsea striker, Andriy Shevchenko is reportedly weighing up a move for Blues midfielder Christian Pulisic.

Pulisic moved to Stamford Bridge in 2019 from German outfit Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth around £58million. The USA star enjoyed an impressive debut campaign, having 13 goal involvements in 25 Premier League outings.

However, he has hardly featured so far this term, mainly due to an ongoing ankle injury.

Christian Pulisic Chelsea

That has led to talk that Chelsea may look to offload him, with Genoa emerging as a potential destination.

Shevchenko played 77 times for Chelsea before he left in 2009. He was also Ukraine manager for five years before recently taking over the Serie A outfit.

Il Secolo XIX (as cited by Sport Witness) reports that Shevchenko has “an eye on” Pulisic. The Stamford Bridge playmaker is said to be “ideal for the 4-3-3 the manager has in mind”.

The report adds that the Blues may be open to a loan. That is if Pulisic is “guaranteed first-team football under someone they know well”.

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