Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was excluded from the club's negotiations with Ross Barkley during their attempts to sign the Everton star on deadline day, according to reports.

Barkley, 24, was on the brink of sealing a move to the Premier League champions last Thursday having been told by Toffees boss Ronald Koeman he was free to leave Goodison Park. Chelsea agreed a £35m fee with the Merseyside club only for the England international to change his mind en route to London after he was denied the chance to speak to Conte to discuss what role he would be given, according to The Times.

Chelsea's decision to keep their own manager away from the negotiations was prompted by their failure to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal the previous day, according to the report. The Blues saw their £40m bid accepted for the England international with Conte telling him he was keen to deploy him as a right-wing back but Oxlade-Chamberlain's desire to play in central midfield saw him reject the offer. A day later, Liverpool signed the former Southampton starlet with Jurgen Klopp willing to offer him opportunities in his preferred position.

Chelsea's decision not to involve Conte during negotiations with Barkley ultimately backfired, however, with the player opting to remain at Everton after failing to get clarification on the manager's plans for him in west London.

The Times add Conte did not speak to Danny Drinkwater as he completed his deadline day move to the champions from Leicester City, with negations overseen by technical director Michael Emenalo and club director Marina Granovskaia.

Conte's relationship with his club was strained throughout the summer with the former Juventus manager missing out on a number of his preferred transfer targets, a tense situation complicated by his ongoing stand-off with exiled striker Diego Costa.

In addition to Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Italian coach also missed out on Romelu Lukaku and Kyle Walker, who signed for Manchester United and Manchester City respectively. To rub further salt in the wounds, the club also missed out on Fernando Llorente on deadline day, with the Spaniard instead opting for Tottenham.

Ross Barkley
Barkley remains at Everton after deadline day move broke down. Getty Images