Thursday 23 November 2017

Barkley must decide his Everton future next week

Ross Barkley: Linked with Spurs. Photo: Getty
Ross Barkley: Linked with Spurs. Photo: Getty

Chris Bascombe

Ronald Koeman says Ross Barkley has a responsibility to tell Everton whether he intends to sign a new deal so the club can plan for next season.

The Dutch coach has raised the stakes on Barkley's future by revealing an offer has been made to the 23-year-old but there has been no indication he will sign.

Koeman called on the midfielder and his representative, Paul Martin, to decide if they will put pen to paper by the end of next week. That looks unlikely, meaning Koeman will want Barkley sold this summer. The player has a year of his deal remaining and could opt to wait for a season.

"I had a short meeting with Bill [Kenwright, chairman] last Tuesday evening, and we spoke about the situation with Ross," said Koeman.

"I think it's his responsibility and the responsibility also of his agent to say yes or no because that's what the club needs to know because we can't wait until the last moment, it's not good for the player and it's not good for the club."

Asked to clarify if a deal was proposed to Barkley, Koeman replied: "We offered him a contract. We don't go and go and go. This is what he needs to sign if he likes to stay.

"He is working well, he is training well and he is doing his best but maybe the time he needed to give the club the right answer is in my opinion a long time ago. Maybe he has doubts about whether to stay, I don't know.

"It is still one week, eh? Time for him to decide because the board is already working a long time to sign Ross for a longer period.

"It is up to the player because we won't wait until August. It needs to be next week."

Koeman also revealed that he is considering alternatives for the attacking midfield role occupied by Barkley.

"That situation doesn't change if Ross says yes or no. We will still scout in that position," he said.

"We have one striker who scored 24 goals, and after that defenders and Ross, three or four goals.

"We need more players from midfield offensively."

Barkley has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and has made clear his ambition to play in the Champions League.

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