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Tottenham and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head to sign Everton midfielder Ross Barkley in January, according to reports.

Barkley very nearly joined Chelsea on deadline day, but reports emerged that the 23-year-old pulled out of the deal at the last minute as he would prefer a move to Spurs.

It remains unclear what his preferred destination actually is, but the Mirror and the Telegraph claim both clubs will go back in for him in the January transfer window.

Both outlets suggest Mauricio Pochettino wants to play Barkley in central midfield next to Eric Dier.

Doing so would boost the midfielder’s chances of earning a place in the England squad for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Barkley is out contract at the end of the season, but Everton will still apparently command a fee of around £20 million.

I think he’d be a very useful signing, particularly when you consider Mousa Dembele’s injury troubles. He could also provide cover for the more attacking midfielders such as Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

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