To the bafflement of virtually everyone, 23-year-old Ross Barkley remains an Everton player.
Everton and Chelsea agreed a fee of £35m for the midfielder who is in the final of his contract. Personal terms were quickly agreed with Barkley travelling to the Premier League champions training ground at Cobham for a medical and to complete his move.
Despite being injured and out until November, Chelsea were desperate to bring one of English football’s highest-rated players to Stamford Bridge.
The Guardian reports that Barkley completed his medical and was on the verge of signing for the Blues when he had a change of heart.
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri told Sky Sports News earlier tonight that Barkley “changed his mind” and that Paul Martin, the player’s agent, informed the club that the England international wanted to reconsider his options in the January window.
It means that unless Chelsea or Tottenham who were also interested in signing Barkley come back in for the midfielder in January, he will leave Goodison Park next summer on a free transfer.
That allows him to claim a massive signing-on bonus with his new club and deprives Everton of the transfer fee they were hoping to recoup. How well this is received by fans at Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.