Chelsea reportedly missed out on signing England international star Ross Barkley because the player was refused permission to speak to Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Guardian.
The defending Premier League champions, who completed Deadline Day deals for defender Davide Zappacosta (Torino) and midfielder Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City) respectively, failed to rubberstamp the Everton midfielder’s signature before Thursday’s 23:00 deadline.
The 23-year-old, who has 22 international caps for his country, has missed The Toffees’ start to the 2017-18 campaign because of a hamstring problem.
Barkley, who has been with Everton since the age of 11, scored six goals and provided nine assists in 39 appearances in all competitions for Ronald Koeman’s side last season.
However; with less than 12 months remaining on his current deal, the central midfielder has refused to commit his long-term future to Everton, hence heavy links with various moves to Premier League rivals during the summer transfer window.
Last night, details emerged that Chelsea agreed a £35m fee with the Merseysiders for the Three Lions ace, only for the player to pull the plug on the transfer at the last minute.
The report suggests Barkley was hopeful of also speaking to Tottenham about a last-gasp Deadline Day switch, but The Toffees turned down the player’s desire to negotiate a deal with Spurs, making him feel pressured into joining Chelsea, which ultimately saw him turn his back on Stamford Bridge and head back up to Goodison Park.
Barkley has netted 27 goals in 179 appearances in all competitions for Everton overall.