Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed that new midfield signing Ross Barkley won't be taking part in the Blues' FA Cup third round replay against Norwich on Wednesday, as he was signed too late. However, the former Everton man could be available to face Brighton on the weekend.
Barkley joined Chelsea from Everton earlier this month in a £15m deal, but hasn't featured for the side as yet. He didn't play a single game for the Toffees this season prior to his move to Stamford Bridge as the result of a major hamstring injury, but is fully recovered and is keen to kick off his Chelsea career.
The Assistant Chief Constable of @MerseyPolice has contacted @mayor_anderson to tell him no criminal offence took place in Ross Barkley's move from #Everton to Chelsea. The Mayor of #Liverpool wrote a letter to them asking them to investigate if any fraud took place. pic.twitter.com/Hf5vcblHdX— BBC Merseyside (@bbcmerseyside) January 16, 2018
"Yeah I’m feeling great now," he told Chelsea TV after signing for the Blues. "I had a difficult time, I was out for six months with my hamstring injury but now I’ve been training for two weeks and feeling great.
"I’m looking forward to kicking on and getting playing as soon as possible."
Wednesday's match against Norwich, though, comes to soon for the player. And speaking in his presser ahead of the match, Conte outlined plans to have a friendly match arranged for the 24-year-old.
Conte says Ross Barkley is unable to play tomorrow because he didn't sign in time, but he is likely to feature in a friendly and could be ready for the weekend.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 16, 2018
"We are preparing a friendly game for him [Barkley] during this week," he said, via Chelseafc.com.
"And then we will see his physical condition, but I am very happy for his commitment and his physical condition, and he could be ready for the next game."
The Blues boss also said that Cesc Fabregas is currently out with a minor hamstring problem, while captain Gary Cahill is a doubt after suffering a muscular injury against Leicester City on the weekend.
Cahill was forced off during the first half of the match and it was initially thought that he would be out for some time. However, the problem is not believed to be serious.