Chelsea sign Everton midfielder Barkley

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The Everton midfielder is closing in on a £15million deal with the Blues after having a medical on Thursday night.

Barkley was close to joining Chelsea in the summer but pulled out at the last minute after deciding to first recover from his long-term injury and then decide upon his future.

Former England coach Steve McClaren is backing Ross Barkley for success with new club Chelsea. It is thought he is nearing a return to fitness, while the Telegraph further notes that Barkley has been impressed by Chelsea's persistence.

Chelsea's top-flight title defence has faded amid Manchester City's stunning form, with Antonio Conte's men facing a 16-point deficit to the summit.

The Italian was left extremely frustrated by Chelsea's transfer policy in the summer - claiming he is working under an "austerity programme" - and now feels vindicated after seeing Pep Guardiola's team dominate.

Conte urged caution over expectations for Barkley.

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While Allardyce is happy to see the back of Barkley, his new boss Antonio Conte is delighted to have the England ace.

The Italian never speaks about players that belong to other clubs, but answered at length on the 24-year-old. He has good prospects for Chelsea.

Do you think Chelsea need a player like Barkley?

"I think it's a great move for Chelsea and I think it's a great move for him", he told Sky Sports show The Debate. 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. This player has not played in seven months.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is now prospering on his season-long loan at Crystal Palace and fans desperately want him to see him in the Chelsea squad next season.

The 24-year-old England global - who has missed the first half of the season through injury - nearly joined Chelsea in the summer transfer window but rejected a Deadline Day move.

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