Antonio Conte has stopped just short of confirming Ross Barkley’s move from Everton to Chelsea.
Barkley is expected to become a Chelsea player before the end of the week, possibly as early as Friday, after undergoing a medical at Stamford Bridge.
He will join the reigning Premier League champions for £15million this month, with his Everton contract expiring in the summer.
Conte says that the club will announce the deal when it is done, not him, but had words of great praise for the England international.
“I think that if there is news, the club will inform you. This is the right way,” Conte said on Friday.
“For sure we’re talking about a young player, an English player. He can have good prospects for Chelsea.
“I think the club decided this investment for his contract. It is a good opportunity for the club to buy this player.
“He’s very young, he has a lot of space for improvement. He’s very strong physically, good technique. He’s a good prospect.
“But it will be important to understand when he will recover from his injury after not playing for seven months.
“If he signs for the club, we must have great patience and hope to recover him very quickly.”
Chelsea have also been linked with a ‘shock’ move for West Ham striker Andy Carroll, which Conte was quizzed over.
“About the transfer market, I don’t know. I gave my opinion to the club but the club then decides the players we can buy or sell.
“It’s the club that signs the players, not me. Recruitment is not my job.”