Ross Barkley Confirms Move To Chelsea

Ross Barkley has announced his move to Chelsea on their official website after Antonio Conte had earlier all but confirmed the news during a press conference.

It followed speculation that the England star, who has not featured for Everton all season, had undergone a medical on Thursday night.

Barkley came close to joining the Blues on the final day of the summer transfer window for an agreed fee of £35million, but pulled out of a move at the last minute to concentrate on fully recovering from a hamstring injury picked up mid-season.

The striker turned down a new deal at Everton and is was going to be of contract at the end of this season, opening the door to a cut-price move. Talks between Chelsea and Everton continued once the January transfer window re-opened.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce said on Thursday the club had been resigned to losing Barkley for some time. The 24-year-old had been an academy graduate and had been at Goodison Park for 13 years, playing 150 times for Everton in the Premier League, scoring 21 times since making his debut in 2011.

An excited Barkley who has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal told the Chelsea website: “I’m overwhelmed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started.

“To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”

Chelsea club director Marina Granovskaia believes the England international will become an “important” player for the west Londoners in the future.

She said: “Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea.

“He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level. We welcome him to the club and look forward to seeing him in action.”