Former Everton coach Alan Stubbs claims Ross Barkley rejected a switch to Chelsea on transfer deadline day as the midfielder had fears regarding potential game-time at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea looked set to land Barkley, with the Premier League champions agreeing a fee of £35million for the 23-year-old, but he changed his mind while undergoing a medical in London.
Stubbs, who had two spells as a player at Goodison Park, suggests a move may have materialised had the England star been given assurances over playing time at Chelsea.
Asked whether Barkley feared he would not play under Antonio Conte, Stubbs told The Daily Star: ‘Yes [there was doubt in his mind].
‘It looked like he was going to Chelsea but he had a change of heart at the last minute and decided against it.
‘The one thing that Ross would have wanted was that he would be starting games and Chelsea couldn’t promise him that.
‘That wasn’t going to be the case and that’s one of the reasons why he decided to stay at Everton.
‘Will someone as good as Chelsea come in for him in January? Probably not.’