Michael Ball has ruled out the possibility of Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley sealing a return to Everton this summer.
The England international midfielder left Goodison Park in favour of a £15million move to Chelsea three-and-a-half years ago.
Barkley’s Everton exit came after pushing to leave the club for a number of years.
However, the 27-year-old’s switch to Stamford Bridge has not gone to plan as he has made just 86 appearances for the Blues.
Barkley also played no role in the Blues’ Champions League success last season as he headed to Aston Villa on loan.
The central midfielder has been linked with a permanent departure from west London this summer, with Everton, West Ham United and Newcastle United reportedly among those interested.
Barkley made 179 first-team appearances during his initial spell with the Toffees but former Everton left-back Ball believes the way in which the academy product harboured for a way out of the club earlier in his career will make a return difficult.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, Ball said: “The way he left has tainted his side, which is really disappointing.
“Ross has been on loan at Aston Villa and it didn’t really work out. They didn’t want to keep him so there are still question marks over whether he has developed since leaving Everton.
“The reasons why he left were a bit shocking for the Everton fans at the time.”