Ross Barkley failed to secure a move away from Chelsea during the transfer window because of his huge wages, according to Express & Star reporter Luke Hatfield.
What's the latest news involving Barkley?
Barkley spent last season on loan at Chelsea's Premier League rivals Aston Villa but, having been restricted to 24 appearances due to a hamstring injury and loss of form, Villa boss Dean Smith confirmed a permanent switch was not even discussed.
The 27-year-old clearly does not feature in head coach Thomas Tuchel's plans as he was not even given a squad number before the season got underway.
Barkley's £96,154-per-week contract still has a little under two years to run and his hefty wages may have stopped potential suitors from lodging a bid.
The central midfielder attracted interest from West Ham United, former club Everton and Newcastle United during the summer transfer window, but he has remained at Stamford Bridge.
What has Luke Hatfield said about Barkley?
Journalist Hatfield believes Barkley's wage package may have played a key role in the England international, who won the last of his 33 international caps in 2019, failing to secure a switch away from Stamford Bridge.
He told GMS: "It was a real shame with Ross Barkley because he started so well for Villa and I think everyone was really excited. There was talk of him potentially trying to wriggle his way into that England squad for Euro 2020 but it just did not work out for him.
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"The fans became very discontented with him and he wasn't putting in the performances he would have liked. It was no surprise to see him make no serious impact at Chelsea because he seems to be a player who has fallen by the wayside there.
"The frustrating thing for clubs looking to bring him in is his wages. He is on massive money. The way things have gone with the pandemic means clubs are not willing to shell out massive wages, even for loan deals.
"His career has hit a real plateau and he needs a move to somewhere he can be trusted to play week in, week out and recapture that form."
How has Barkley's Chelsea career gone wrong?
Then-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte forked out £15million to sign Barkley from Everton three-and-a-half years ago, months after the Toffees' academy product pushed for a transfer away from Goodison Park as he looked to nail down a regular spot in England's midfield.
However, Barkley has gone on to make just 86 appearances for his current employers and was only named in Tuchel's matchday squad for the first time this season when Chelsea beat Aston Villa at the weekend.News Now - Sport News