By Pranav Shahaney

2nd Jan, 2022 | 6:10am

Brighton join Leeds United in race to sign Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley

Brighton have reportedly entered the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley who’s also been linked with a move to Leeds United.

According to TEAMtalk, the Seagulls are the latest team to show an interest in signing the England international.

Barring Leeds, Newcastle, Burnley and Everton are also understood to be keen on securing his services.

While Chelsea have not made a decision one way or the other about his future, the interested clubs believe that he is likely to leave in January.

Must avoid him

Barkley, who has been described as “outstanding” by the BBC in the past, is a shadow of his old self.

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When he was at Everton, he appeared to be on the cusp of big things and was also being called up to the England squad regularly.

At that point, signing him would have been a no brainer as he looked like someone on the rise.

Now, it’s quite the opposite. He is declining considerably and he will not be able to match the physical demands of a Marcelo Bielsa side.

If all these clubs are genuinely interested in signing him, then it could be a blessing in disguise for Leeds.

They clearly will not be able to afford the riches some of the linked clubs can and will automatically be priced out of a move for the 28-year-old.

Their focus should be on players like John Swift who are currently in their primes and can contribute at both ends of the pitch.

In other Leeds United news, two Bundesliga clubs want to sign an ‘Exciting’ Leeds defender in January.