Sunday 19 November 2017

Barkley knocked to floor in Liverpool bar attack

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. Photo: Getty Images
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. Photo: Getty Images

James Ducker

Merseyside Police have launched an investigation after video footage emerged of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley being punched in a bar in Liverpool city centre hours after playing in his side's 4-2 home win over Leicester City.

Barkley appeared to be struck twice and was knocked to the ground before his attacker was dragged away by other revellers. The incident is reported to have happened in the Santa Chupitos cocktail bar, in the early hours of yesterday.

Barkley's lawyer described the incident as an "unprovoked attack by a stranger". It is understood that Barkley was not knocked out and did not suffer concussion, which would have made him a doubt for Saturday's game at home to Burnley.

He is said to have been examined by Everton's medical staff, who must adhere to strict rules governing head injuries, and was passed fit to take part in a light warm-down session yesterday.

Barkley is believed to have spoken to manager Ronald Koeman and is not expected to face any disciplinary action. He was not thought to have been under any curfew and Everton's players had permission to go out following the Leicester game.

Everton have yet to comment on the incident but Barkley's lawyer confirmed the player was the person in the CCTV footage being circulated on social media, saying: "Ross was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a stranger who approached him."

Santa Chupitos said the person responsible for leaking footage of the attack on the internet will be sacked. A spokesman added: "We take the privacy of anyone in our bar extremely seriously and what has happened is very disappointing. It's very rare that any altercations happen in the venue."

Merseyside Police confirmed they were looking into the matter, adding: "No report of an assault has been received but officers are making inquiries."

Barkley is out of contract at Everton at the end of next season and Koeman admitted on Sunday that the player would have to be sold if he did not sign a new deal this summer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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