By Danny Wright
Joey Barton claims that Ross Barkley’s deadline day move from Everton to Chelsea fell through because Antonio Conte “turned his phone off”.
It was widely reported that Barkley, 23, pulled the plug on his move to Stamford Bridge while he was undergoing a medical with the Premier League champions, something which he has since denied.
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri confirmed that a £35million agreement was reached with Chelsea as well as personal terms for the England international, but in a stunning turn of events he remains a Toffees player until at least January.
Barton has now claimed that he the move broke down because of Chelsea boss Conte, who blocked communications with Barkley.
“Conte turned his phone off,” said Barton on TalkSport, as quoted on Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast’s official Twitter account on Monday.
“The Barkley representatives were trying to contact [Conte] to say ‘look, where am I going to play’ and he turned his phone off.
“That’s why Barkley got cold feet and never signed for them; because he went ‘well, if the manager’s not answering the phone then he clearly doesn’t want me’ and that’s why he went back to Everton.”
— The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (@SportsBreakfast) September 4, 2017
Barkley is in the final year of his contract at Goodison Park and has been widely linked with a move away from Merseyside all summer with the Sunday Times claiming that he rejected Chelsea because he wanted to sign for Tottenham.
It was understood that Spurs failed to make a bid for the attacking midfielder throughout the summer transfer window.
Barkley has spent his whole career with Everton, scoring 27 goals in a total of 179 appearances.
He is yet to play this term due to injury.
In other Everton news, this senior player has hit out at the Blues after they turned a deaf ear to his requests.