Chelsea com­plete ¤16.8m sign­ing of Ever­ton’s Barkley

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - ANDY HUNTER

Chelsea have an­nounced the sign­ing of Ross Barkley from Ever­ton in a deal un­der­stood to be worth £15 mil­lion (¤16.8m). The mid­fielder de­scribed the move as “un­be­liev­able” and said one of his pri­mary tar­gets was to score more goals.

Chelsea went back for Barkley af­ter a dead­line-day move col­lapsed last sum­mer. The clubs agreed a £35m fee and Barkley per­sonal terms with the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons, only for the player to re­quest more time to con­sider the deal as he re­cov­ered from a se­ri­ous ham­string in­jury.

That de­lay has cost Barkley’s boy­hood club £20m in trans­fer rev­enue, al­though Ever­ton risked los­ing the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional for noth­ing in the sum­mer and re­luc­tantly ac­cepted a cut-price move.

Out of con­tract

Barkley is out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son and Ever­ton’s man­ager, Sam Al­lardyce, ad­mit­ted on Thurs­day the club was re­signed to los­ing its home­grown tal­ent, who has re­jected of­fers to ex­tend his stay.

The 24-year-old, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal, told Chelsea’s 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 add more goals to my game.”

An­to­nio Conte ex­plained yes­ter­day why he wanted to bring Barkley to Chelsea. “We are talk­ing about an English player, a young player,” the man­ager said. “He has good prospects for Chelsea. I think the club de­cided for this in­vest­ment also for his con­tract. I think this is a good op­por­tu­nity for the club to buy this player. For sure he is a good prospect for Chelsea.” ‘Bad in­jury’ Conte cau­tioned against ex­pect­ing Barkley, who had not played a com­pet­i­tive match since May, to make an im­me­di­ate im­pact. “Don’t for­get he had a bad in­jury, he had surgery,” he said. “This player has not played in seven months . . . We must have great pa­tience. We have to hope to re­cover him very quickly, to try to help us for the rest of the sea­son.”

Barkley has been at Ever­ton since he was 11 years old, hav­ing been spot­ted by the club’s late and pro­lific for­mer scout Sid Ben­son, and made 150 Pre­mier League ap­pear­ances.

His fu­ture at Good­i­son was thrown into doubt dur­ing Ron­ald Koe­man’s reign as Ever­ton man­ager, with the Dutch coach reg­u­larly crit­i­cis­ing the mid­fielder in pub­lic and the player then stalling over a con­tract ex­ten­sion.

Koe­man’s im­me­di­ate re­place­ment, David Unsworth, and per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor, Al­lardyce, both hoped a change in man­age­ment would en­cour­age Barkley to recom­mit to Ever­ton but that has not ma­te­ri­alised. The Eng­land mid­fielder has not fea­tured this sea­son be­cause of his re­cov­ery from ham­string surgery but re­turned to first-team train­ing over the fes­tive pe­riod.

– Guardian

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

Ross Barkley: has been out with a ham­string in­jury

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.