Everton reject £25m bid from Chelsea for Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley has not featured for Everton this season

Everton have rejected a £25m offer from Chelsea for Ross Barkley, but the England midfielder could still leave the club before Thursday’s deadline.

Chelsea’s offer was below Everton’s original £50m price tag – although it is likely this will be reduced as he has only one year left on his contract.

The 23-year-old has turned down a new deal at his boyhood club.

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His situation is further complicated by a serious hamstring injury which could keep him out for three months.

Chelsea are expected to return for further discussions and Tottenham, long-time admirers of Barkley, could enter discussions.

Everton must also weigh up whether to take an offer lower than their original price or risk losing Barkley on a free transfer in 12 months.

Born 5 December 1993, Barkley has played for Everton for most of his career, which included loan spells for Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United.

Barkley made his full international debut in 2013.

He played for England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was selected in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016 but did not appear in any of England’s matches.

Managers and teammates have compared his style of play to those of Michael Ballack, Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney.

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