Premier League • England

Newcastle eye twin opportunity as Leeds join race for familiar Chelsea man

Chelsea's Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The race to sign Ross Barkley from Chelsea has quickly increased to include two other Premier League clubs in addition to Burnley, according to a fresh report.

Barkley spent last season on loan at Aston Villa after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. All three of his appearances since returning to his parent club have come from the bench. It seems he has little time left in west London.

The midfielder was named as a Burnley target over the weekend in a January loan move that could revive his career.

But while Burnley’s interest has been confirmed in a report from 90min, they also add that Leeds United and Newcastle United are in contention for his signature.

Leeds had Barkley on loan during part of the 2012-13 season, when he was still owned by Everton. The midfielder made just four appearances in the Championship, though.

Nearly a decade on, he has experienced a range of highs and lows since. Even after his slide down the Chelsea hierarchy, he is a better player now than he was then.

Leeds were considering strengthening their midfield in the summer, but were ultimately unable to do so. They did bring in Lewis Bate from Chelsea, but he is for the under-23 side with a view to a bigger role in future.

Here and now, Leeds still need someone in the middle of the park. Their start to their second season back in the Premier League has not been positive and reinforcements could be useful in January.

Hence, Barkley could get a second chance to prove himself to the Elland Road faithful if he deems them a better option than Burnley.

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But another alternative that he may find even more attractive would be Newcastle.

Barkley on Newcastle shortlist

Fresh from their Saudi-backed takeover, Newcastle now have the financial power to challenge anyone. But while they remain in the relegation zone this season, they may not be able to attract top stars straight away.

Instead, the strategy will be to spot opportunities from the kind of clubs they are seeking to challenge, finding players who could revive their careers and help them climb up the table.

Newcastle signed Joe Willock on loan from Arsenal in January 2021 and he inspired them to a mid-table finish before earning a permanent transfer. There could be similar instances in the upcoming window, but this time maybe with more experienced players.

Intermediaries have supposedly been at work to suggest to Newcastle they could sign Barkley. The Magpies have subsequently added him to their shortlist and think he could be both gettable and useful in terms of helping them avoid the drop.

His wages have stood in the way of other escape routes from Chelsea but Newcastle could accommodate him if they think he is worth it.

Ross Barkley representing Chelsea

Newcastle would also consider his teammate Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but it seems Thomas Tuchel has more faith in him after recently restoring him to the Blues lineup.

Barkley, on the other hand, will be available for transfer in January and it appears he will have three clubs to pick from.

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