The Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne has agreed another season-long loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers after the Premier League champions refused to budge on a £5m asking price for the defender.
The decision to reject Wolves' final offer of £3m is thought to have gone right to the top – to Roman Abramovich himself – with Chelsea making it clear to Wolves that it would be £5m or no deal. Mancienne, 22, who has made six appearances for the first team, has already had two temporary loan spells at Wolves over the previous two seasons.
Mancienne would have preferred a permanent transfer as he now feels that he has no future at the club to which he has been attached since the age of eight. His £25,000-a-week wages make him the highest earner among the academy generation at Chelsea and have been a discouraging factor to clubs, including Newcastle, who have made enquiries.
The indications from Carlo Ancelotti is that in terms of preferment Jeffrey Bruma, 18, who made his senior Netherlands debut this month, is ahead of Mancienne to take Ricardo Carvalho's place in the squad.
A regular England under-21 player who was even called up to a senior squad by Fabio Capello in November 2008, Mancienne has found it frustrating trying to make headway with the club. He made his senior debut in the FA Cup in February last year but now finds himself passed over as another generation of academy-produced players try to break into Ancelotti's first team squad.
Mancienne is the latest player to leave Chelsea who would have been eligible to qualify as one of the club's home-grown players under the new Premier League squad quotas. Joe Cole has joined Liverpool and Sam Hutchinson has been forced to retire. Mancienne, who has two years remaining on his Chelsea contract, made 33 appearances for Wolves last year.
As Chelsea seek to balance their squad in anticipation of the 25-man submission to the Premier League next week, they have also farmed out the Serbians Nemanja Matic, 22, and Slobodan Rajkovic, 21, on loan to Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands.