CONTE REVEALS WHY BARKLEY CAN’T PLAY AGAINST NORWICH ON WEDNESDAY

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had hoped he would give Ross Barkley his Chelsea debut in Wednesday’s FA Cup replay against Norwich but that won’t happen after Chelsea failed to complete the deal in time.

Chelsea completed the deal for Barkley on the eve of the original tie at Carrow Road but for Barkley to be eligible to play in the third-round replay, the deal should have been completed before noon.

However, Barkley would be eligible to play in the fourth round of the FA Cup if Chelsea beat Norwich at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

“He’s not able to play because the transfer was late,” Conte said of Barkley.

Barkley has not played competitive football this season and Chelsea are planning to organise a practice match behind closed doors in order to give Barkley some game time.

“We are preparing a friendly game for him during this week,” Conte added.

“Then we will see his physical condition but I am very happy for his commitment.

“He could be ready for the next game, or for the next game.”

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OTONY
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