West Brom latest gossip: Finances stopped "fantastic" Premier League talent moving to Hawthorns

West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael

West Bromwich Albion could not take advantage of the opportunity to sign Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley on loan because of his hefty wages, according to Express & Star reporter Luke Hatfield.

What the latest news involving Barkley?

In the final days of the summer transfer window, Chelsea enquired as to whether West Brom would be willing to take Barkley on loan but the midfielder’s £110,000-per-week wages resulted in it being impossible for the Championship club to do business.

The 27-year-old clearly does not feature in Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel’s plans as he was not even given a squad number before the season got underway.

Prior to Tuchel’s appointment as Frank Lampard’s successor in January, Barkley joined Premier League rivals Aston Villa on a season-long loan deal.

But a hamstring injury and loss of form resulted in him being made to contend with making just 24 appearances and Villa boss Dean Smith admitted a permanent switch was not even discussed.

Chelsea reached out to West Brom, under new head coach Valerien Ismael, after Barkley attracted interest from West Ham United, former club Everton and Newcastle United during the summer transfer window but none of his suitors made a bid.

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Barkley?

Hatfield, who covers West Brom and Barkley’s former club Aston Villa, believes it was impossible for a switch to the Hawthorns to be negotiated.

He told GMS: “Ross Barkley is not a Championship player but, ultimately, his performances have put him in a position where a Premier League club isn’t willing to take on his wages to have him at the club.

“For Chelsea, it’s a really tough situation because, unless you’re paying 75 or 80 per cent of his wages, there isn’t going to be a Championship club that will touch him unless they are really willing to break the bank in terms of finances.

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“It’s a tough situation for him and the club. Hopefully we will see him back to his best because he can be a fantastic player but it’s been a long time since we have seen Ross Barkley putting in consistent performances.

“It would have amazed me if he had ended up going to West Brom because of his natural quality and the finances of the deal meant it was never going to work.”

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How has it gone so wrong for Barkley at Chelsea?

Champions League holders Chelsea spent £15million to sign Barkley from Everton three-and-a-half years ago, a matter of 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 feature just 86 times for the west Londoners and was only named in Tuchel’s matchday squad for the first time this season when Chelsea beat Aston Villa at the weekend.

His England opportunities have also dried up, with the last of his 33 caps coming in 2019.

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