The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern have been bitterly disappointed by Ross Barkley’s lack of involvement since he arrived at the club in January, and recent reports suggest he could be on his way out of the club already this summer.
Ross Barkley arrived at Stamford Bridge in January without a single minute of competitive football under his belt all season due to a troublesome hamstring injury, and very little has changed since his transfer. The 24-year-old is fit and ready for first-team action once again, but without a proper pre-season or any match practice it seems that Conte is unwilling to hand him opportunities this season.
Whether there is an underlying issue with Barkley’s fitness or Conte’s confidence in his ability is unclear, but recent reports from Italian media outlet Calciomercato suggest that his career in West London could be coming to a premature end this summer. According to the report, Chelsea are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes, although they face competition from Liverpool and Tottenham for his signature.
Chelsea’s interest in Fernandes (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) is hardly surprising considering his incredible record this season. In 53 appearances the Portugal international has managed to notch 16 goals and provide 20 assists for his teammates – including 3 goals and 4 assists from 6 appearances in the Europa League.
However, with plenty of central midfielders already to chose from, the addition of an attacking midfielder would cast serious doubt over Barkley’s future this summer. Barkley’s career at Chelsea has hardly got off to a flying start and it appears he is facing an uphill battle to prove himself.
Adding Fernandes to the mix will certainly not do the Everton academy product any favours, especially considering his new competitor will be full of confidence on the back of an exceptional season in Portugal. The Chelsea supporters will be hoping Barkley can turn things around and finally develop into the player he was widely tipped to become when he broke through as a youngster at the Toffees, but the their interest in Fernandes suggests he may be forced to embark on a new challenge before his latest chapter has even begun,
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