Antonio Conte has dropped a huge hint that Chelsea's rumoured £15m acquisition of Ross Barkley will go through after he talked up the Everton star.
Reports in Friday's media claimed that the Toffees midfielder was all-but-certain to join the club he had turned down last summer, with Everton agreeing to let him leave for £20m less than the contract rebel was valued at last August.
Speaking to the press on Friday (via football.london), Conte was asked about the reigning Premier League champions' offer for Barkley.
And, whilst he didn't exactly say the move was done and dusted, the positive comments that Conte made towards the 24-year-old suggested that Barkley would become a Chelsea player fairly soon.
He said: "I think if there is news the club will inform you. This is the right way. We are talking about an English player and young player - he is a good prospect for Chelsea.
"This is a good opportunity for the club to buy this player. For sure he's a good prospect for Chelsea. For news, the club will inform you
RE: Ross Barkley. I think working under Antonio Conte will do him a world of good. He's technically excellent but he could improve on his tactical awareness and off the ball skills. It is probably the right time for him to have a go a getting into a big team. #cfc— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 5, 2018
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"He's very young. I think he has a lot of space for improvement. Room for improvement. He's strong physically and had good technique.
"It's important to understand about when he can recover from his injury. This player has not played for seven months. If this player signs for the club we must have patience and help him recover quickly."
Evertonians have been quick to criticise Barkley over his behaviour and conduct over the past six months and have the right to feel aggrieved over the boyhood Blue.
Barkley had hit back at reports last August that he was in the capital undergoing a medical at Chelsea's Cobham training base before he decided not to go through with the move, and remarked that he would decide his future once he was fully fit from a torn hamstring injury.
Everton boss Sam Allardyce had revealed Barkley's future was out of his hands on Tuesday, and it seems that the England international has made his mind up about where he wishes to play.