Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Antonio Conte rubbishes rumours that a missed call led to Barkley's U-turn

Antonio Conte has hit out at "ridiculous" reports he turned off his phone when Ross Barkley wanted to speak to him over a possible transfer to Chelsea.

The Everton midfielder was reported to have changed his mind on a £35million deadline day switch, but Conte rubbished claims that a lack of personal contact played any part in the England star's U-turn.

"About this issue (Barkley) I think it's ridiculous what I read," he said."I think the club tried to do its best in the transfer market.

"Sometimes you're able to buy, sometimes you're not, for many reasons. But I think the club tried to do its best during the transfer market."

Asked to rate Chelsea's transfer window business, Conte replied: "This question is very difficult to answer. I think we have to wait until the end of the season and we'll see."

Fenerbahce have been linked with a move for exiled striker Diego Costa this week, though the Turkish club are aiming to complete a loan deal for Spurs' Vincent Janssen.

When quizzed on Costa, Conte replied: "My focus is on English football, not Turkey.

"I think when you are a manager and a coach you must be prepared to face every situation."

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