Chelsea board’s decision on transfer deadline day prevented star signing


The Times reports that Chelsea were unable to land Everton midfielder Ross Barkley because Antonio Conte was stopped from speaking to the player.

The midfielder was said to have contemplated the move to Stamford Bridge on the eleventh hour, with question marks over game time and other matters and wanted to have a word with the coach. But Chelsea had barred their manager from holding talks with Barkley after his failure to convince Alex Oxlade Chamberlain to join them.

The Blues lost out on Oxlade Chamberlain to Liverpool, after a £35m fee had been agreed with Arsenal because Conte could not give him assurances of playing centrally. He eventually joined Liverpool.

Chelsea later agreed another £35m with Everton for Barkley but the England international sensationally changed his mind in the final minutes of the transfer window.

His reason? He could not get in touch with Conte via phone. The Times report suggest it was all the Chelsea board’s fault, as they did not want their manager interfering with transfer negotiations.

The Times goes on to say the Italian did not speak to Danny Drinkwater as well before he completed his move to the club as technical director, Michael Emelano and club director, Marina Granovskaia took over.

Conte was said to be furious with the club in their inability to land some targets over the summer window including Romelu Lukaku who moved to Manchester United and Alex Sandro from Juventus.

Chelsea also missed out on Fernando Llorente as the Spanish striker moved from Swansea to Tottenham Hotspur.