Sky Sports reported that the 23-year-old was set to complete a deadline-beating £30m move to Stamford Bridge but changed his mind before the deal could be completed.
Though there are conflicting accounts of whether the player actually started his medical, the general story was corroborated by the Blues' major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who told Sky that Barkley wanted to reconsider his position in January, by which time he should have recovered from a hamstring injury.
Barkley later confirmed via Twitter:
"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."