Chelsea have confirmed that Ross Barkley has left the club by mutual consent, becoming a free agent following the termination of his current contract. due to expire in 2023.
The Englishman was free to leave this summer, but no club was willing to match his reported £200k per week wages, meaning that he has remained with the club despite not being part of the match day squad for any of the first 4 games of the season.
Barkley, 28, could well now join another Premier League club before the transfer deadline on 1st September, with Newcastle United, Everton and West Ham all previously credited with an interest in the midfielder. Alternatively, both Rangers and Celtic are thought to hold an interest in taking him north of the border.
He becomes Chelsea’s 10th departure of the summer, with the club having managed a transfer fee for just two, with a further two having left on loan. Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Matt Miazga, Charly Musonda and Jake Clarke-Salter have all left the club for free.
Chelsea remain on the hunt for midfielders
The Blues remain on the hunt for midfield reinforcements before the transfer window shuts, despite having added young duo Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei to their ranks this summer.
“It’s normally the area I would love to have a headache about who plays and who is on the bench”, Thomas Tuchel admitted. “This is normally the area where I thought we would have five players that could all play for us and have Carney [Chukwuemeka] on top as an option as a young player.”
“The headache before the season was whether we had too many players there, but it comes to the fifth game, and maybe we only have two left with experience in this position and Kova from the bench because he is not ready to play full matches at Premier League level as he only had a week after training after his injury.”
They will need further reinforcements should they opt to let Conor Gallagher depart too, with the Englishman subject of interest from Crystal Palace.