Chelsea have pulled the plug on Demba Ba’s loan move to Premier League rivals Arsenal, but Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku could be allowed to leave the club on another short-term deal.
Ba was thought to be on the verge of a move away from west London this summer, with former clubs Newcastle and West Ham both keen to recapture his signature.
It was reported that Arsene Wenger had made a deadline-day swoop to bring the striker to the Emirates for the season and a loan fee of £1.5m-£3m was mooted.
However, Chelsea have decided against selling the player to a close competitor and with no bids forthcoming from St James’ Park or east London, Ba is likely to remain at Stamford Bridge.
One striker who could be leaving the Europa League winners before the transfer window closes is Lukaku.
The 6ft 3in hitman scored 17 league goals on-loan at West Brom last term.
Steve Clarke’s Baggies are in desperate need of more firepower after Hull’s £5m bid for Shane Long was accepted, with the Irish international currently undergoing a medical at the KC Stadium.
Peter Odemwingie has also left the Hawthorns for Cardiff, leaving Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra as the only senior strikers left available to Clarke.
They would welcome Lukaku back to the Midlands, but West Ham are also interested in bringing him to Upton Park.
However, Everton have been strongly linked with the player as the transfer deadline draws closer.
The Toffees are thought to be the favourites to sign the 21-times capped goal-getter although Chelsea have no intention of selling the player outright, preferring another season-long loan deal.