Everton place £50m price tag on Ross Barkley
Everton have placed a £50 million price tag on Ross Barkley as they continue to wait on the midfielder’s future.
Ronald Koeman has said that he wants to know the intentions of Barkley, who is mulling over a contract offer, by the end of the week.
A decision is highly unlikely by then, extending the impasse into potentially volatile territory as Koeman has said the player will be sold if he does not put pen to paper.
In those circumstances, Everton will demand a fee similar to the one they received for John Stones a year ago, despite the fact Barkley has only a year remaining on his current deal.
The Merseyside club’s rationale for such a figure is the current standing of Barkley, his age, and the likely calibre of club who will show an interest. Tottenham have long been considered the most likely destination.
The fact Barkley’s contract is running down is not considered a factor in his price this summer.
Whether a club is prepared to pay such an amount remains to be seen and it looks certain to be a complicated game of cat-and-mouse between player and club if Barkley chooses not to sign his deal.
He could opt to call Everton’s bluff and see out his contract for the remaining year. Having said the player will be sold if he does not sign a deal, Koeman would then have a dilemma in pre-season in determining whether to select Barkley.
By midsummer Everton will have moved on to fill his position as they are already seeking replacements. There is also a feeling Barkley can ill afford to risk finding himself out of favour in a World Cup year.
Everton are hoping to make some statements of intent in the transfer market this summer but know clubs are preparing moves for Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.
They are monitoring the situations of Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, although it remains to be seen whether the pair can be persuaded to move to Goodison.