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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Chelsea complete signing of Ross Barkley from Everton

LONDON -- Chelsea have completed the signing of midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton.

The clubs did not confirm a fee, but the sum involved was widely reported to have been £15 million.

The move comes less than six months after England international Barkley had a dramatic change of heart over a switch to Stamford Bridge in the final hours of the summer window after a £30m fee had been agreed.

He told Chelsea's official website: "I'm overwhelmed. I'm looking forward to it and I'm really excited to get started.

"To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for me. I'm looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game."

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said Barkley was "a player we have long admired, and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea."

She added: "He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level.

"We welcome him to the club and look forward to seeing him in action."

Before the move was completed on Friday, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said 24-year-old Barkley, who has not played for Everton this season after undergoing surgery on an injured hamstring, represented a good investment.

"We are talking about a young English player, he is a good prospect," he said.

"He is very young and he has a lot of space for improvement. He's very strong physically, with good technique."

Barkley becomes Chelsea's first signing of a window in which the Premier League champions will actively explore opportunities to bolster Conte's squad.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll has also been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge but Conte said: "It is the club that signs the players, not me.

"The recruitment is not my job. The club try to do the best to improve this team.

"I am a coach and I give my opinion if the club asks me something, but then there is the club who decide if the players arrive here, to sell, to buy."

Norwich City are Chelsea's next opponents in the FA Cup third round at Carrow Road on Saturday.

David Luiz and Charly Musonda are both expected to return after injuries, but Eden Hazard will not be risked after taking a kick to the calf.

Information from ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent Liam Twomey was used in this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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