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Chelsea set for fresh snub from £35m target, lack of Conte involvement proves critical

Chelsea are reportedly set to miss out on Ross Barkley in January, as he is said to believe a move to Tottenham would be more beneficial for his career.

The 23-year-old dismissed speculation that he underwent a medical with any club on deadline day amid reports that he had decided against a move to Chelsea despite arriving at their Cobham training ground on Thursday night.

However, while The Times don’t doubt his account of events, they do insist that Barkley still has reservations over a move to Chelsea as he doesn’t believe that it would be the best move for his career in terms of continuing his development and making him a better player.

Barkley’s hamstring injury is also cited as being a reason why a transfer away from Everton never materialised this summer, but there are interesting sub-plots in the matter too.

The Times note that a £35m deal was agreed with the Premier League champions, but Barkley ultimately turned down the move and was in London hoping that Tottenham would make their move. They didn’t, with his injury said to be the reason why.

Nevertheless, it goes deeper. It’s claimed that Antonio Conte wasn’t involved in the pursuit of Barkley, and so the England international had no idea as to how he would fit in at Stamford Bridge.

In contrast, he looked at Mauricio Pochettino’s track record of developing young talent, and despite having to likely accept lesser wages, it seems as though Tottenham are the main attraction for him.

Add to that Conte hasn’t got the same reputation of bringing through youngsters, and the Times believe that Barkley may well be waiting for Spurs to swoop in January and Chelsea could face further rejection if they try again. It isn’t entirely ruled out though, as much will come down to his new valuation as with less than 12 months remaining on his contract, his price-tag will be falling.

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