CHELSEA boss Antonio Conte’s hostile treatment of Ross Barkley stems from the player’s debut against Arsenal, according to reports.
Chelsea star Barkley has played just 54 minutes under Conte following his arrival from Everton in January.
The England international looks set to miss out on a World Cup place with his Stamford Bridge career now under threat as well.
Chelsea boss Conte has appeared reluctant to give the player game time, despite the Blues struggling for consistency throughout the campaign.
And the Daily Mail say the Italian’s anger at Barkley stems from what happened on his Chelsea debut.
The former Everton midfielder made his first appearance for the west London side against Arsenal in January.
However, it was a night to forget, with Chelsea losing 2-1 to the Gunners on aggregate.
That match also ended their hopes of Carabao Cup glory, with Arsenal going on to be thumped 3-0 by Manchester City in the final.
The Daily Mail say that, when Willian limped off injured, Conte wanted to bring Barkley on instantly.
But the Chelsea man was still warming up on the touchline, wearing his Blues jacket as well.
This supposedly infuriated Conte, who has been reluctant to pick him ever since.
Speaking after his debut, the Chelsea boss demanded improvement. Something that Barkley is yet to show.
“He has a lot of space for improvement,” he said.
“He’s working with us, he’s only been here two weeks.
“But for sure, today I was forced to make this substitution. At the same time, I think he can improve a lot.”