West Ham boss David Moyes is reportedly looking to sign Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea.
The England midfielder previously played under Moyes at Everton and the Scot is said to be keen to be reunited with him at the London Stadium.
The Daily Mirror say Moyes is trying to clinch a deal to take Barkley for the rest of the season.
It might seem like a long shot by Moyes – but there are reasons to believe Chelsea might well be willing to do business.
Out of favour
Barkley has made just seven Premier League appearances this season and just two since September. He faces stiff competition for a midfield place with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho all in contention. Kovacic’s excellent form makes Barkley’s task tougher and he is also likely to be pushed further down the pecking order by the eventual return to fitness of Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Needs game time
A loan move for the rest of the season, playing under a manager who can get the best out of him, could therefore be in the interest of all parties. It would help build up Barkley’s fitness and confidence and possibly boost his chances of establishing himself as a first-team regular at Chelsea next season. Loftus-Cheek went from strength to strength prior to his injury, having benefited hugely from a loan spell at Crystal Palace.
Protecting the investment
Chelsea paid £15m for Barkley and his lack of game time will not improve his market value. Keeping him active is very much in the Blues’ interests in terms of the investment they made in him and regular game time is a must. He clearly won’t get it at Stamford Bridge, for the time being at least.