Chelsea complete signing of Barkley from Everton

Everton FC via Getty Images

No fee was given for Barkley, who has not played for fellow Premier League side Everton this season because of a hamstring injury. He went on to make 179 appearances for his boyhood club across all competitions and scored 27 goals.

Tottenham - who have often been mooted as potential suitors for Barkley - had been expected to reignite the interest they showed in the player last summer but ultimately chose to focus their attention elsewhere, according to Sky Sports.

Barkley will wear the number eight shirt, formerly worn by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Oscar.

"To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for me".

"I think that we are resigned and the club was resigned before I got here that we're going to lose Ross and I can't see that changing", said manager Sam Allardyce on Thursday.

The 24-year-old's contract at Goodison Park was due to expire at the end of the season after he rejected a new deal with the Toffees. There is hope that Barkley will add versatility in the squad in central midfield, as a No.10 or as a wide player in the front 3, making him the flawless player to fit in Conte's 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations.

'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. He's a good prospect.

"For sure we're talking about a young player, an English player", said Conte.

"He's very young and I think he has a lot of space for improvement".

Conte urged caution over expectations for Barkley. He's a good prospect but at the same time, it will be very important to understand when he can recover from his injury. But that's not the case anymore, with Spurs apparently wanting to wait until the end of the season to sign him for free, while Chelsea ready to spend money now.

'He had a bad injury & has not played for seven months.

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