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WATCH: 'You can't live in Liverpool your entire life' - Paul Merson bemused by Ross Barkley's Chelsea snub

A big fee was agreed but Ross Barkley did not leave Everton
A big fee was agreed but Ross Barkley did not leave Everton

Evan Bartlett

Paul Merson has criticised Ross Barkley’s last minute change of heart on a transfer to Chelsea by claiming “you can’t live in Liverpool for the rest of your life”.

The Everton midfielder travelled to London on Thursday night after a £35m fee had been agreed between his club and the Premier League champions.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports, Merson expressed his bemusement at the decision.

“You get nervous,” Merson explained, as if in understanding of Barkley’s U-turn.

“Some people come from certain places and they don’t feel comfortable and they might think ‘I don’t want to be down here. I don’t want to be down in London.’ They get nervous that way.

“But you can’t live in Liverpool for the rest of your life.”

Everything had been set for the 23-year-old to join Chelsea, with claims he even underwent a medical and had agreed personal terms before pulling out at the 11th hour.

“The two clubs agreed a deal of £35m, personal terms were agreed and after a medical we heard from Paul Martin, Ross Barkley’s agent, that he changed his mind,” Everton owner Farhad Moshiri told Sky Sports News last night.

“He wants to reconsider his position during the January window. It is a big surprise, but that is football.”

Sources close to Barkley, however, have denied that he had a Chelsea medical.

Independent News Service

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