Chelsea have announced the signing of England midfielder Ross Barkley on a five-and-a-half-year deal from Everton.

Chelsea have made an official announcement on the signing of Ross Barkley from Everton. Barkley was close to signing for Chelsea on deadline day of the summer window,  where he rejected the Blues at the very last moment from a £35 million deal. Back in the summer,  even Tottenham were interested in the midfielder,  but it was Chelsea who re-ignited their interest in him.

The 24-year-old is yet to feature in the Premier League this season owing to a hamstring injury suffered in August. Barkley has played 150 games for Everton in the Premier League and is capped 22 times for England, playing in the European Championships as well the World Cup.

This move will please Chelsea manager Antonio Conte who had long wanted a player of Barkley’s qualities and versatility. Barkley is able to play in roles behind the striker as well as in deeper midfield or in an advanced wide position.  He has an eye for goal and is capable of creating them too.

The player himself spoke about the move shortly after the announcement was made official by Chelsea.

“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 improve and add more goals to my game.”

The fee involved in this deal remains undisclosed for the time being but it is reported to be in the region of £15 million.  The cut-price amount is due to the fact that Barkley had only 6 months left on his Everton contract which he signed back in 2014.

Everton manager, Sam Allardyce was wary of picking Ross Barkley to play for the side, despite the midfielder returning to full fitness and first-team training in recent weeks. This comes after, speculation was rising on the future of the player. Allardyce was aware of the big interest in the player and expected bids in the January window.

Everton decided to cash in on the player with 6-months left on the contract, rather than losing him for free in the summer. Chelsea made their move quickly enough to secure the services of the young English star.

Ross Barkley will wear the No.8 shirt, previously worn by Blues legend, Frank Lampard and recently by Brazilian Oscar.

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