Ross Barkley has made up his mind to fight for his Chelsea place in a big blow to suitors including Leeds United and Aston Villa, Football Insider understands.
Th England international has been on the radar of a number of top Premier League clubs going into the final week of the window.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Barkley has told the Chelsea hierarchy he does not want to leave and will instead try to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.
That is a blow to the likes of Leeds and Villa, who had shortlisted Barkley as a loan target ahead of the 5 October cut-off.
They had been encouraged about his potential availability as Chelsea look to lower their wage bill after an enormous summer recruitment drive.
Frank Lampard spoke in the aftermath of Saturday’s 3-3 draw against West Brom of the need to offload senior players in a squad that has grown too bloated.
As revealed by Football Insider, Chelsea have mooted including Barkley in part-exchange as part of a mammoth bid for Declan Rice.
But the attacking midfielder, who is valued at around the £30million mark, wants to prove he can make it at Chelsea two-and-a-half years after his arrival from Everton.
Barkley played the full 90 minutes of Chelsea’s EFL Cup victory over Barnsley last Wednesday night, scoring his side’s third goal.
But he is not a regular starter in the Premier League and has made just two sub appearances in their three matches in the competition this season.
Leeds are keen to recruit a playmaker who can take over the creative mantle from Pablo Hernandez, who turned 35 in April.
Villa also want a string-puller who can takes some of the pressure off skipper Jack Grealish.