Chelsea complete protracted Barkley signing

Barkley has yet to play this season due to a hamstring injury but he is nearing match fitness

Barkley has yet to play this season due to a hamstring injury but he is nearing match fitness

The England worldwide nearly joined the Premier League champions in the summer, only for the transfer to collapse at the last minute.

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.

Understandably, the 24-year-old wanted more time to consider his options, especially seeing as he would not have been fit to feature for his new club until the turn of the year.

Barkley will wear the number eight shirt, formerly worn by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Oscar.

"He has this great opportunity to play in a great club, with ambition and great targets, and also to put yourself in this new challenge".

"I think that we are resigned and the club was resigned before I got here that we're going to lose Ross and I can't see that changing", said manager Sam Allardyce on Thursday.

"For Chelsea also it would be positive to buy English players because we lost important players like John Terry, Frank Lampard from this club, this country. He is very strong physically and has good technique", Conte added. We have to hope to recover him very quickly & have him for the rest of the season'.

Barkley arrives with a wealth of experience for a player so young, having already made 150 Premier League appearances for Everton, as well as being named in England squads for both the World Cup and European Championships.

Conte had expressed his opinion to the Chelsea hierarchy and left them to do the negotiationsm but has been a big fan of Barkley for a long time. He can have good prospects for Chelsea.

"He's very young and I think he has a lot of space for improvement".

The Italian added: 'Don't forget he had a bad injury, he had surgery.

Conte plans to rotate his options for Saturday's trip to Norwich.

Charly Musonda is available following a groin problem.

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