Ross Barkley reportedly had a change of heart on a move to join Chelsea during his medical with the club, ending hopes of a £30m deal.
The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with an exit from Goodison Park all summer amid issues over his contract situation, with a number of clubs linked.
According to Sky Sports, the England midfielder travelled to London and began his medical with Chelsea on Thursday ahead of the transfer deadline with a £30m fee agreed between the Blues and Everton.
However, astonishingly he then changed his mind during the medical and is now expected to return to Everton having opted against going through with a move to join the Premier League champions.
It isn’t explained what triggered his change of heart, but whatever it was, it was certainly serious enough to convince him to end the possibility of moving to Chelsea and he will now have to force his way into Ronald Koeman’s plans until January at least.
This isn’t the full story and so perhaps there’s more to it that will come out in the coming hours and days, but on the face of it, it seems like a crazy development that hasn’t been seen or heard of before.
As for Chelsea and Antonio Conte though, this will be a major setback for them and a huge disappointment as the Italian tactician is still in the midst of adding a number of new faces to his squad on Thursday night but Barkley will seemingly now not be one of them.