Patrick Bamford is understood to have opted to end his loan stint at Crystal Palace and return to Chelsea, after missing a gilt-edged chance in the goalless draw with Swansea.
The 22-year-old striker was understood to have told reporters he has asked to return to Stamford Bridge, ahead of seeking another loan move in January.
Bamford blasted a point-blank effort straight at grateful Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski when he should have buried the winning goal at Selhurst Park.
His goalless nine-game stint with the Eagles now looks at an end, despite manager Alan Pardew insisting Palace were yet to talk to Chelsea on Bamford’s future.
“Strikers will always tell you they need five games,” said Pardew of Bamford’s form.
“Managers ain’t got time for five games. You’ve got to come in and do it.
“But that chance was normally one he would take.
“Patrick nine times out of 10 would have buried that and we’d have got three points. But I can’t be disappointed.
“Maybe he just needs that goal to give him that spark that strikers need.”
When asked if Chelsea would recall Bamford in January, Pardew added: “I think it’s a conversation we’ll have to have with Chelsea for sure, but we haven’t had it yet.”
Eagles boss Pardew branded referee Neil Swarbrick’s booking of Yohan Cabaye as a “terrible decision”.
Midfielder Cabaye will now miss Palace’s home Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, owing to his fifth yellow card of the campaign.
Pardew admitted he hopes missing strikers Dwight Gayle, Bakary Sakho and Conor Wickham can quickly find fitness, to boost his side’s stretched resources.
“I thought it was a terrible decision by the referee to book him (Cabaye),” he added.
“Swansea got their shape very, very quickly and the game never really opened up.
“But we’ve got 31 points after 18 games: wow. That’s fantastic for us.
“Now we’ve got to hope some of our strikers come back to us.
“You could tell it was our second game in three days.
“We lacked a bit of imagination and flair.
“The discipline was spot-on, but that little spark, that little edge, we didn’t have that today.
“We’ll certainly miss Yohan (Cabaye) against Chelsea, because he’s a great player for us. So we’ll have to manage without him.”