Ian Wright believes Antonio Conte really wanted Chelsea to sign Arturo Vidal rather than Ross Barkley in the transfer window.
The Blues completed a £15m deal to sign Barkley from Everton in the January transfer window to bolster their attacking options.
Chelsea snapped up the England international in a cut-price deal given Barkley had only six months left on his current deal.
However, Conte appeared to hint earlier this month that Barkley’s signing wasn’t his decision despite welcoming the 23-year-old’s arrival.
The defending Premier League champions have been regularly linked with a move to sign Vidal from Bayern Munich in recent months.
Vidal worked with Conte at Juventus where the pair won three Serie A titles in three seasons.
Former Arsenal striker Wright claimed that Conte was really looking to sign Vidal but has been forced to make do with Barkley.
“I believe Conte wanted Vidal. That’s the guy he was talking about,” Wright told Sky Sports.
“He didn’t seem enthused about Barkley. He was saying he had to sign English players.”
Chelsea have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Conte.
The Blues lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final at The Emirates mid-week to miss out on a place at Wembley.
Chelsea will take on Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 next month.
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