Everton eye Barkley talks
Everton manager Ronald Koeman will attempt to open contract talks with Ross Barkley after the club announced three deals yesterday.
Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry and Mason Holgate all committed themselves to Goodison Park, and the futures of Barkley and Romelu Lukaku will be next on the agenda.
Baines (32) stays until 2019, Barry (35) has extended by a year to 2018 and Holgate (20) has signed for another five years.
Barkley (23) has just 18 months left on his deal and has been troubled this season, often left out of the side. His performance against Arsenal on Tuesday was his best under Koeman and his manager says a long-term deal will be on the agenda in 2017.
"It is not the priority at the moment but in the new year, yes," said Koeman.
The manager is preparing for his first Merseyside derby on Monday, now fully up to speed on the rivalry after upsetting some of his own fans by suggesting Liverpool could win the title, and then decorating his Christmas tree red.
"I know, of course, about the rivalry between Everton and Liverpool. I know," he said.
Jürgen Klopp will head to Goodison for the first time, a venue he says he has experienced only because of its role in the recent Rocky movie, Creed. He hopes Joel Matip will return, dismissing fears the centre-half may need an ankle operation. (Daily Telegraph, London)