CHELSEA offered Ross Barkley to West Brom on deadline day but his £110,000-a-week wages scuppered any move.
That's according to the Telegraph as Blues' boss Thomas Tuchel admits he is puzzled by the England midfielder's downward spiral.
Chelsea failed to find any club willing to borrow Barkley, 27.
And the claim that Championship side Baggies were asked if they would be interested in buying him shows how much the Blues and the ex-Everton star are struggling to revive his career.
Tuchel brought in Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez on loan as he suggested he only had "three midfielders" – N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
That summed up the plight of 33-cap Barkley and Chelsea squad-mate Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 25, who has played 10 times for England.
And Tuchel said of last season's Aston Villa loanee Barkley: “I’m sure that he worries a lot about the situation.
“He is also asking himself the same questions and maybe all of us here, to be honest, don’t have the answers.
“He tried to go on loan again, to find a club, but it is not easy.
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“The situation out there, the financial impact from corona to clubs abroad and clubs also within the country is huge.
"It's not easy to find clubs who are able to invest.
“It's hard to see people struggling and struggling with the situation.
"But the quality that Ross brings to the pitch could help a lot of clubs in Europe.”
Tuchel stressed: “He has the ability but this is not enough.
“I saw so many players who can train on certain levels but there is so much more to it, to becoming a regular Premier League top player.
“So let’s see. It’s never too late and I will give him the support that I can. We need to wait and have patience.”
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