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Chelsea’s difficult transfer window endured yet more frustration on deadline day after Ross Barkley became the latest high-profile player to reject a move to the Premier League champions despite a fee of £35m having been agreed with Everton.
A deal for Barkley had been struck in principle between the clubs only for the player to join Fernando Llorente, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and, earlier in the summer, Romelu Lukaku in opting against a switch to Stamford Bridge. The England midfielder, who is in rehabilitation from a torn hamstring, had been hoping to speak with Tottenham Hotspur, only for Everton to refuse to enter into negotiations with Spurs on deadline day. That left Barkley feeling he was being pressured into a move to Antonio Conte’s side, and prompted him to pull the plug at the last minute.