Antonio Conte delivers Ross Barkley injury update after Chelsea signing

Antonio Conte has admitted that he is not yet sure when Ross Barkley will be fit for Chelsea after his arrival at the club last week.

Chelsea signed Barkley on a five-and-a-half year contract on Friday after agreeing on a fee with Everton believed to be worth around £15m.

Barkley has not featured for Everton at all this season due to a serious hamstring injury but the England international has already begun training at Cobham since his move.

It remains to be seen exactly when Barkley – who will wear the number eight shirt for Chelsea – will be ready for selection but the 24-year-old will clearly be keen to prove his fitness to Conte in the coming weeks.

Speaking at his post-match news conference after Chelsea’s goalless draw with Norwich in the FA Cup on Saturday, Conte said of Barkley: “I don’t know when he will be fit.

“On Saturday he started to work with the fitness coach. From Monday I’ll see him and then I will start to prepare a programme to have him playing quickly.

“It’s important for me to assess his physical condition and then to try to improve his condition and for him to work with us and our ideas. My hope is to have this player very quickly.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea are currently preparing for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The two London sides played out a thrilling 2-2 draw when they met at The Emirates in the Premier League last week.

Defending champions Chelsea are currently in third place in the Premier League table.

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