Joey Barton believes that he knows why Everton midfielder Ross Barkley rejected a deadline day move to Chelsea. The controversial former Manchester City, QPR and Burnley midfielder told TalkSPORT that there was a surprising reason behind it, he said:
“I heard a really interesting thing about what happened with the Ross Barkley transfer. Conte turned his phone off and Barkley’s representatives were trying to contact him. He wanted to say: ‘Look, where am I going to play’, and Conte turned his phone off. That is why Barkley got cold feet and never signed. He thought: ‘Well, if the manager isn’t answering the phone to me he clearly doesn’t want me’, and that is why he went back to Everton.”
That does not match the workaholic and passionate image that many have of Antonio Conte, but after a summer in which Chelsea have been rejected by several key transfer targets, something is clearly amiss at Stamford Bridge in the transfer department.
In what could be even worse news, Eden Hazard has hinted in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca that he could make a move to Spain in the near future. The Belgian refused to rule out such a switch as he said:
“At the moment I’m good in England. I play in one of the best teams, but yes, the Spanish League is special. Why not one day? Of course, for the moment I’m here… Well, I think now, at this moment, Real Madrid is the best team in the world. They have won everything and have good players, a great coach. He has won everything both player and coach. He’s a special type. Everyone knows him as a player. To think of football is to think of Zidane.”
The forward has returned to action after three months on the sidelines with a fractured ankle as he scored for his national side against Gibraltar last week bid also featured for 15 minutes against Greece as Belgium secured qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
One player who looks set to make a La Liga move sooner rather than later is striker Diego Costa. Despite his current situation, refusing to return to London from Brazil, the Express say that he wants to hold talks with the club to resolve their dispute.
Costa believes that smoothing things over with the Blues could ease an exit to Atletico Madrid in January and would also avoid a likely legal case from the club as he continues to fail to report to training.