Antonio Conte has rubbished reports surrounding the reasons why Ross Barkley did not make the move from Everton to Chelsea this summer.
Barkley was widely expected to leave the Toffees this summer, with Tottenham thought to have been the most interested club for large parts of the summer transfer window. However, it was Chelsea who made a late move and came closest to signing the midfielder.
The news broke late on Transfer Deadline Day that Barkley was in London to discuss terms with Chelsea, before the move sensationally broke down, reportedly during the players medical after Barkley changed his mind.
Rumours since surfaced that Barkley rejected the move to Stamford Bridge because Antonio Conte’s phone was off, meaning the player couldn’t speak to his potential new boss to discuss his role at the club.
However the Italian has refuted these claims, calling them ‘ridiculous’:
“First of all, I want to tell you that I don’t like to speak about players of other teams because it is a lack of respect.
“But what I read about this issue was ridiculous. Ridiculous. I stop. It’s ridiculous. With this adjective, I tell you my thoughts of this news.”
Barkley also gave his own update on the situation via social media earlier this week:
“Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point.
“I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit.
“Thanks for all of the support.”
Barkley remains at Everton, where he has just 10 months remaining on his current deal.