Premier League • England

‘Always a chance’ – Tuchel offers Chelsea transfer insight into Leeds target as exit talk lingers

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, December 2021

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has insisted that midfielder Ross Barkley’s future remains unclear amid interest from Leeds United.

Barkley moved to the Blues from Everton in January 2018, but talk is increasing that he could soon be on the move again. In fact, he had strong links with a move to West Brom in the summer, only for his wage demands to cause the move to fall through.

In September, Tuchel insisted that any player, regardless of their place in Chelsea’s hierarchy, must be ready to play if they are part of the squad.

And while Barkley has only featured in 12 games this season, he has also started just four of those. As such, a potential loan deal could be on the horizon in January.

TEAMtalk has learned that Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Burnley are all looking into a potential move for the 28-year-old.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s 5-1 FA Cup win over Chesterfield on Saturday, Blues boss Tuchel offered an update on Barkley’s future.

“We haven’t discussed it yet [loan deal],” the manager said. “It depends what Ross wants and what possibilities there are and what makes sense. Let’s see.

“There’s always a chance it is not like it is the FA Cup and here’s your chance. There’s always a chance to make it onto the pitch, especially with a lot of Covid and injury cases.

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“The situation has not changed, not for Ross, not for anybody else.”

TEAMtalk understands that Barkley still thinks he has a chance of making the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar if he can improve his game time and form enough.

Leeds have interest in Barkley as they look to sign a new midfielder.

Indeed, he is a target for Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa alongside Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien.

Tuchel rates Chelsea starlet’s performance

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea

In other news, Tuchel lauded the performance from Chelsea starlet Lewis Hall at Stamford Bridge against Chesterfield.

The central midfielder, operating in defence, had a hand in two goals.

Tuchel said: “Did he say much in his interview? I haven’t heard him speak so much in training!

“But he deserved to play, he is a nice guy and very calm. A huge opportunity at Stamford Bridge. He took his chance and was hugely involved in some of the goals. Happy for him.

“Big schedule. A lot of things to take care of. We had a day off tomorrow, which is rare enough, and from Monday we will focus on the Carabao Cup.”

Chelsea return to action on Thursday when facing Tottenham in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.