Tottenham Hotspur have also harboured a long-standing interest in Barkley, but sources have told ESPN FC that they are not prepared to rival Chelsea for his signature in January as they pursue other targets favoured by Mauricio Pochettino.
The Blues tried to bring the England global to Stamford Bridge in the summer but he opted against a switch on deadline day.
However, with Everton boss Sam Allardyce confirming that Barkley would leave the club it looks like the Blues are in prime position as of right now.
Rumors of a renewed Chelsea bid for Ross Barkley, who's contract is expiring in six months, have persisted ever since the Everton midfielder rejected a chance to complete a move to Stamford Bridge in the waning hours of the summer transfer window.
It will mean the player is leaving Goodison Park after 13 years, having joined Everton as an 11-year-old in 2005.
Barkley was out of contract at the end of the season, and could have left Everton on a free transfer.
The 24-year-old hasn't played yet this season due to a serious hamstring injury but he's close to full fitness now and negotiations over a move away from Everton have resumed in recent days.
The England global claimed he wanted a new challenge and there was reported interest in him from Tottenham Hotspur as well as the reigning Premier League champions.