Deadline-day moves for Hamza Choudhury and Nathaniel Chalobah collapsed due to the ultra-strained relationship between the Newcastle United and Watford boards, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
Newcastle had lined up a loan move for Choudhury and his club Leicester City put in place a deal for Chalobah, 26, to arrive as a ready-made replacement.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that both players had agreed the moves were ready to complete last-gasp exits on Monday of last week before the window shut.
But the boardroom relations between Newcastle and Watford, which the source described as “dreadful” and “some way less than cordial”, proved to be an immoveable barrier to the transfers.
Watford wanted a replacement through the door before sanctioning the late departure of Chalobah.
The Championship side wanted to sign Matty Longstaff, as had first been revealed by Football Insider on 31st January.
But Newcastle were unwilling to let the young midfielder, 20, head to Watford as a result of the damaged relations between the two clubs.
As a result, the Hornets then put the block on Chalobah leaving and Leicester, in turn, stopped Choudhury from leaving.
The chain reaction meant all three midfielders ended up staying at their parent clubs for the second half of the campaign.
Choudhury subsequently started both of Leicester’s Premier League matches, the win over Fulham and the draw against Watford.
Longstaff was an unused sub against Palace and then failed to make the squad against Southampton, while Chalobah started the Championship matches against QPR and Coventry City.