Sam Allardyce expects Ross Barkley to depart Everton in January before the midfielders contract expires this upcoming summer.

“I think the club was resigned before I got here that we’re going to lose Ross and I can’t see that changing,” said Allardyce.

Strong rumours done the rounds of a move to Chelsea on the final day of the last transfer window, but Barkley ended up sticking around to continue his recovery from injury.

Allardyce continued: “I expect there would be some interest some time in this window if there’s going to be any interest from one of the big boys.”

But Big Sam hasn’t ruled out the England international playing for the Blues again: “He’s back training full-time.

“It’s a little bit like James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie. When he comes back the touch won’t be quite as good as it used to be and the match fitness won’t be quite as good as it used to be.

“Like James and like Yannick and Seamus and Leighton we’ll have to suffer that until we get them back up to speed.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries. Unfortunately we’re top of the league for the wrong reason and we need to address that one.”