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Chelsea saw Ross Barkley reject a deadline day move to join the club after a fee had been agreed by Chelsea and Everton for the 23-year-old.

His last-gasp decision to reject the move saw rumours claim that Barkley couldn’t reach Antonio Conte because the Chelsea coach had his phone switched off.

Conte has rejected such rumours and has a message for the Everton midfielder.

He said: “If a player has great desire to play for a great club, he signs.

“Sometimes it’s important for the manager to speak to a player before he signs. Other times it’s not. Yes [I have signed players without speaking to them].

“I don’t want to speak about my English experience. But when I was at Juventus, players signed for Juventus. Not for the manager.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.