Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked not to talk to Everton midfielder Ross Barkley by the club’s board, according to the Times journalist Mark Hughes.
The newspaper reports that Barkley was seeking to have a conversation with Conte about his role at the club, but the phone call never happened, and it was part of the reason the England international opted against making the move to Stamford Bridge on deadline day.
The reason for the Italian’s removal from the transfer negotiations for Barkley was due to the club’s failure to land Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Conte reportedly told the Gunners star that he would be used as a wing back and would have to compete with Victor Moses for a place in the starting eleven.
The conversation was believed to be the main reason Oxlade-Chamberlain opted against the Blues and chose Liverpool instead. Keeping Conte out of the negotiations for Barkley however also proved to be the wrong decision.
Barkley pulled out of a move to Chelsea last week in the middle of travelling to London for a medical, and it seems there could have been a different outcome if Conte had been allowed to speak to the player.
The Blues could return for the player in January when Barkley has fully recovered from a hamstring injury, but they will likely face competition from Tottenham who could be lining up the player on a free transfer for next summer.