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Former Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley signs for Nice

Former Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley signs for Nice

Nice have announced that they have signed former Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on a free transfer.

Barkley went into the summer window aware that he had a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, yet had little chance of featuring in Thomas Tuchel‘s plans.

Although he featured for 45 minutes in a friendly against Club America, that was his solitary outing during pre-season, while he was not named in any of Tuchel’s Premier League squads during the opening weeks of the season.

A lack of concrete interest in his signature led to Chelsea offering Barkley a mutual parting of the ways towards the end of August, something which was accepted by the 28-year-old in a bid to kick-start his career.

Having departed Chelsea with 12 goals and 11 assists from 100 appearances, Barkley had been expected to sign for a club in England or Scotland.

Welcome to your new home, Mr Barkley πŸ’ͺπŸ”΄βš«οΈ#OGCNice

β€” OGC Nice πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ (@ogcnice_eng) September 4, 2022

However, on Sunday evening, the former England international was officially unveiled as a Nice player ahead of their fixture against Monaco.

Barkley watched on as his new side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Allianz Riviera, extending the club’s dismal start to the new Ligue 1 campaign.

Nice have accumulated just five points from their opening six fixtures, while they also required extra time against Maccabi Tel Aviv last month to secure a spot in the Europa Conference League.

As it stands, however, Nice appear to have been unable to register Barkley for their continental fixtures with UEFA’s official website currently not having him included in their squad.

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley in action against Burnley on November 6, 2021.Β© Reuters

Although Barkley has taken his first challenge away from English football, he joins a Nice squad that is full of familiar names from English football.

Compatriot Joe Bryan moved to the South of France on loan from Fulham last week, while former Arsenal midfielder and Wales international Aaron Ramsey signed from Juventus earlier in the summer.

Premier League veteran Kasper Schmeichel has ended his time at Leicester City to move to Les Aiglons, with Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe also joining the club on loan.

Brentford defender Mads Bech Sorensen completes the list of the contingent with Premier League experience who have signed for Nice in recent weeks.

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