"The immediate alarm bell in my head" - Leeds journalist reacts to big January transfer claim

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Leeds United could be frustrated in their efforts to sign Ross Barkley due to his hefty wages, according to LeedsLive journalist Joe Donnohue.

© GiveMeSport Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa

Barkley has entered the final two years of his £96,154-per-week contract at Chelsea and it appears his future could lay elsewhere.

What’s the latest news involving Barkley?

Barkley joined Chelsea from Everton in a £15million deal three years ago, but his stay at Stamford Bridge has not gone to plan.

A range of reasons – including injuries, a loss of form and spending last season on loan with Aston Villa – have resulted in Barkley being restricted to less than 30 Premier League starts for the west Londoners.

Barkley was not even given a squad number by head coach Thomas Tuchel at the start of the season, further emphasising he does not feature in the forefront of the German’s plans.

West Ham United, Everton and Newcastle United were linked with acquiring the 27-year-old’s services during the summer but opted against firming up their interest.

But the latest reports suggest Leeds have joined Burnley and Newcastle in pursuit of Barkley ahead of the transfer window reopening in January.

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What has Donnohue said about Barkley?

Donnohue believes Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa’s hopes of signing Barkley will not be realised.

The central midfielder’s pay package is likely to prove to be an obstacle the Yorkshire side will not be able to overcome.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think the immediate alarm bell in my head is that the wages would probably be something which put that one out of the question.

Lukaku and Werner OUT for Chelsea! Hear full reaction on The Football Terrace…

“In an ideal world it wouldn’t be a problem, but clubs have balance sheets that they have to ensure are looking healthy come the end of the season for Financial Fair Play reasons.

“Not that Leeds are in any bother with regards to that, but you always want to keep the club on a sound financial footing.”

What would Barkley add to Leeds’ squad?

Barkley has bags of Premier League experience, making close to 230 appearances in the top flight.

He would also provide a goal threat from midfield, with him scoring more than 50 goals during his time on the books of Chelsea, Villa and Everton.

Barkley, who is valued at £15.3million by Transfermarkt, has showcased his capabilities on the international stage as well. He has won 33 England caps but failed to feature for two years.

Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish has claimed Barkley would offer stiff competition for Leeds ace Rodrigo.

– January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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