Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has denied claims he opted not to join Chelsea during his medical and says he will assess his options in January.
The bizarre report emerged on transfer deadline day on Thursday after the two clubs agreed a deal in principle for the England midfielder.
Chelsea were said to have agreed a £35million fee with Everton before Barkley changed his mind on the move.
But Barkley insists a medical with the Premier League champions never took place, posting on his Twitter account: “Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point.
“I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit.”
Barkley’s desire to leave Goodison Park had been no secret, and the Merseyside club were seemingly resigned to losing him.
However, he will now have to earn a place in an Everton team that has added Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Nikola Vlasic to their midfield ranks among a host of other transfers in a busy window.
Barkley scored five goals and recorded eight assists in the Premier League last season as Everton finished seventh.
Everton have taken four points from their opening three league games this campaign.