Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea are open to Ross Barkley’s departure

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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has suggested that midfielder Ross Barkley can be allowed to leave the club on loan this month.

Apart from cup appearances, Barkley has barely been around since the beginning of November, and has only received 151 minutes of Premier League action so far this season. He was generally expected to leave the club during the summer but eventually stayed at Stamford Bridge when a suitor could not be found.

The 28-year-old came off the bench on Saturday night in the Blues’ 5-1 knockout of the National League Chesterfield in the third round of the FA Cup. He did not take the chance exactly, although he went close with a curling from the edge of the penalty area.

Speaking about Barkley’s prospects for the rest of the pre-match season, Chelsea boss Tuchel said: “We have not discussed it yet. [loan deal]. It depends on what Ross wants and what opportunities there are and what makes sense. Let us see.

“There is always a chance that it is not like it is the FA Cup and here is your chance. There is always a chance to get on the pitch, especially with many Covid and injury cases.

“The situation has not changed, not for Ross, not for anyone else.”

The English national team player has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs in recent weeks, including Newcastle, Burnley, Leeds and the former club Everton.

However, a report from the Daily Mail indicates that Barkley wants to stay at Stamford Bridge to fight for his place.

Speaking after the Chesterfield victory, Tuchel acknowledged the need for quality rotation options and added: “We have tough matches going on.

“It’s a different level of intensity if you play Premier League teams or against a team in the fifth division. It was important to share the minutes and give some players a rest to be in the best possible shape for the upcoming matches.

“Let’s see. We have to constantly adapt because the situation can change any day with the testing, and from there we go.”

For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter.

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