Antonio Conte needs to be more involved in negotiations if he wants to have any hope of signing Everton midfielder Ross Barkley in the January transfer window, according to the Times.
As per the Times, Chelsea had agreed a £35M fee with Everton to sign Barkley on deadline day, but the England international rejected the move. It is reported that he was in London in hope of sealing a late switch to Tottenham.
The Times report that Everton were surprised that Barkley’s transfer to Chelsea did not materialise, but the newspaper believe that Conte may partially be at fault.
They claim that Barkley had no idea what was in store for him under Conte’s stewardship, as the Italian offered no insight into his plans, leaving the 23-year-old understandably reluctant to take the plunge.
The Times believe that Barkley admires Conte, but would like to know where he fits into his vision. Until this clarification is made, it is claimed that him joining Chelsea in the future cannot be ruled out, but Conte needs to be at the forefront of negotiations if the deal is to go through next time around.