MX23RW : Tuesday, August 21 08:20:41

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte happy with fitness of midfielder Ross Barkley

Conte happy with Ross Barkley's fitness
© SilverHub
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte reveals that midfielder Ross Barkley could feature against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has acknowledged that Ross Barkley is unable to feature in the club's FA Cup third-round replay with Norwich City.

Conte had initially suggested that the January signing would be in contention to play against the Canaries, but the England international was not signed in time to make his debut on Wednesday night.

Instead, Barkley may make an appearance against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon, with Conte revealing that he is happy with the fitness of the former Everton man.

At a press conference, the 48-year-old said: "No, because he's not able to play because the transfer was late.

"We are preparing a friendly game for him during this week, and then we will see his physical condition. But I'm very happy for his commitment and physical condition. He could be ready for the next game, or for the next game."

Barkley has not made a first-team appearance since May due to a hamstring injury.

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Gary Cahill is forced off with an apparent hamstring problem during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Leicester City on January 13, 2018
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