By Matt Bullin
Everton boss Ronald Koeman has stated he does not feel confident that Ross Barkley will sign a new deal.
The Dutchman also revealed he would attempt to make several signings to improve the competition in the squad whether or not Barkley stays.
The England star’s future at Goodison Park has been uncertain for some time but the Telegraph reported that Koeman had told Barkley to decide his future before the end of the season.
The 23-year-old’s contract enters its final year this summer and it now appears talks have taken place between the player’s representatives and the club, and between Koeman and Barkley, but a deal is no closer to being made.
Speaking in his pre-match press briefing on Friday, before his side face Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo he said: “If you offer the player a good contract, it means we want him to stay here.”
But when asked if he felt confident of Barkley signing a new deal he answered: “No. But I am not worried because I like to work with players who like to play. We will go on and we’re looking for players in that position. If he stays there will be more competition.
“I spoke to the player, the board spoke to his agent. I don’t know if he won’t give an answer. I don’t know.”
Barkley has been a mainstay of the Toffees side this season, scoring five goals and providing nine assists in 35 Premier League games.
Football Insider verdict:
The Barkley saga has been rumbling on for a long time now and all the signs have been that he’s going. Koeman’s ultimatum said a lot and this latest broadside won’t come as a surprise to Everton fans, but it won’t make them happy. Modern day transfers are complicated but fans demand a certain level of respect and clarity and Barkley is giving them neither. They’ll probably be happier when he finally leaves the club.
In other Everton news, Koeman has entered the race to sign this Premier League ace.