Everton midfielder Ross Barkley caused a transfer deadline day sensation by pulling out of a £35million move to Premier League champions Chelsea at the 11th hour.
The England international rejected a new contract at Goodison Park at the end of last season, telling boss Ronald Koeman he was keen for a new challenge.
Chelsea and Tottenham were both linked with the 23-year-old and Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri told Sky Sports News a fee was agreed for Barkley to move to Stamford Bridge, only for him to withdraw from the switch after completing a medical.
“The two clubs agreed a deal of £35million,” Moshiri said.
“Personal terms were agreed and after the medical we heard from Paul Martin, Ross Barkley’s agent, that he changed his mind and he wanted to reconsider his position during the January window.
“He’s currently injured so I think, technically, he will be with us because he’s under contract for another year.
“It is a big surprise but that is football.”
84 – Ross Barkley created more chances than any other English player in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign. Turnaround. pic.twitter.com/hWnrHjU9Rz
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2017
Koeman and Everton have already planned extensively for life without Barkley and the additions of Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson – along with Thursday’s unlikely Chelsea saga – make his path to the first-team appear somewhat complicated in a World Cup year.
“The number 10 position is a very, very congested area at Everton,” Moshiri said.
“We have Sigurdsson, Klassen and Rooney. It’s not easy to break into that now.
“He’s a good player, he’s a world class player but he needs to play.”
The collapse of the deal for Barkley stands as Antonio Conte’s latest frustration of a transfer window where he has seen targets including Romelu Lukaku, Leonardo Bonucci, Danilo and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – the latter a deadline day signing for Liverpool – move elsewhere.
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