Chelsea blocked Antonio Conte from speaking with Everton midfielder Ross Barkley on deadline day.

The Times says Chelsea instructed Conte not to get involved in any negotiations with the England midfielder in case anything he said would put the move in jeopardy.

The Italian had earlier held extensive talks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain about moving to the Premier League champions, only for the Arsenal ace to reject the deal in favour of a switch to Liverpool.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was told he would be in direct competition with Victor Moses for the position of right wing-back in open and honest talks with the manager.

So Chelsea bosses decided to stop Conte from being involved in any of the negotiations – leaving technical director Michael Emenalo and club director Marina Granovskaia to take charge instead.

And that decision ultimately backfired on Chelsea when Barkley decided against making the switch from Goodison Park to stay on Merseyside.