After scoring 12 Premier League goals in an impressive season so far, Everton will be desperate to keep on-loan Belgian star Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis.
Acquiring such an asset from Chelsea, a club also in need of a world-class striker, will require a handsome sum, but Jose Mourinho is believed to be willing to waive a lorry-load of cash if the Toffees hand over precocious talent Ross Barkley.
The Blues can be backed at 5/1 to win the Premier League crown after their shock defeat at Crystal Palace last time out, with their inability to score further emphasising the need for sharpened dentures in the final third.
However, with legendary midfielder Frank Lampard approaching the end of his west London tenure – his contract is up at the end of the season and, as of yet, negotiations regarding an extension have not yet been opened – Mourinho is also keen on sounding out an heir to that particular throne.
Barkley, it appears, is the chosen one and Lukaku – who is alleged to have fallen out with the Portuguese tactician – is the bait they plan on using to tempt Everton.
A product of the Toffees’ acclaimed academy, 20-year-old Barkley is a talent the Merseysiders don’t want to lose, but aware of the financial implications surrounded with signing an individual of Lukaku’s calibre, they could still be persuaded to sanction the move.
Much like Lampard, the recently capped England man has a keen eye for goal, averaging 2.4 shots and 2.3 dribbles per game as well as scoring five goals in 21 top-tier starts so far.
Unlike the man he’s tipped to succeed in the Chelsea midfield, however, Barkey is loaded with explosive pace and a strong physical presence.
His rambunctious approach and desire to score goals is what has endeared him to Mourinho and a summer switch to Stamford Bridge could be on the cards.