Mauricio Pochettino could offer Ross Barkley a late passport to next summer’s World Cup finals.

Tottenham are set to go head-to-head with Chelsea again in January for the out-of-favour Everton midfielder.

And Spurs boss Pochettino may hold the edge in that tug-of-war, as his record of producing players for England and his faith in Barkley could both be big factors.

The Argentinean wants more options in midfield, where Mousa Dembele is struggling with a foot injury, and Barkley could end up in a more withdrawn role rather than as a No10 if he joins the north Londoners rather than their Stamford Bridge rivals.


That could turn out to be a huge bonus for England boss Gareth Southgate, who is desperately short of deeper-lying midfielders ahead of Russia 2018.

His first-choice anchorman is Eric Dier, who may end up playing alongside Barkley for Tottenham.

If they could form a strong club-level partnership in the second half of the season, that would surely boost the national team come the World Cup.


England have few options in central midfield, where Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is a mainstay. Southgate had even fast tracked in Watford’s former Chelsea starlet Nathaniel Chalobah before his knee injury leaves his World Cup place in doubt.

Chelsea made a £35m bid for Barkley in the summer but a pre-season hamstring injury — he is not yet back to fitness — made a it a difficult deal to get over the line.

Barkley’s value could drop dramatically in January as he is in the final year of his contract, and both Spurs and the champions are set to come back in.


Tottenham have Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Dier and new call-up Harry Winks in the England squad, with Danny Rose also sure to be involved once he returns to fitness.

Everton look certain to sell Barkley in January rather than lose him for nothing next summer, and the player is ready to quit Goodison for a fresh start.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/tottenham-ready-chelsea-transfer-tug-11287479