Everton boss Ronald Koeman is not one to mince his words and the Dutchman has been clear about his attitude towards England midfielder Ross Barkley.
The former Southampton boss has now told the media that Barkley ‘wants a new challenge’.
Asked about whether Barkley is leaving the club this summer, he is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “Yes. Yeah.
“His personal situation is not so difficult. We made a really good offer to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me he’s looking for a new challenge.
“It’s his decision. I need to respect that and we’ll see what happens because I heard from the board that there’s not really an offer on the table for Ross.”
Barkley always likely to leave
It was always likely that Barkley would leave the club this summer. The midfielder has just 12 months left on his contract on Merseyside. As Koeman stated the Toffees offered him a very good offer of a new deal.
However, he rejected the offer of his boyhood club in the hope that he could nab himself a big money move to a Champions League club this summer. Reportedly, Everton value Barkley at £50million, but his price will no doubt plummet as we get to the deadline day.
The midfielder was often criticised last season by Everton fans for his poor-decision making. Barkley saw himself dropped from the Everton starting line-up because of his poor displays last season. In reality, Barkley failed to develop his game under Koeman and maybe he thought a move would help his career.
Not in Koeman’s plans
Koeman has never seemed convinced by Barkley’s displays. The Toffees may have offered him a new contract, but it was quite clear that Koeman was making plans to replace Barkley.
Not only did Everton sign Dutch attacking midfielder Davy Klaassen, they also signed Wayne Rooney. The Merseysiders are also in the process of attempting to prise Gylfi Sigurdsson away from Swansea. The move for the Icelandic star looks inevitable, despite the Swans turning down two bids.
Koeman’s recruitment of Klaassen, Rooney and possibly Sigurdsson would suggest that Barkley might not even make the starting line-up at Everton next season. Maybe Barkley realises that he is not Koeman’s cup of tea and that is why he wants to move on.
Playing Champions League football is reportedly Barkley’s wish for next season. However, he would not get into the starting line-ups of any of the four English teams who finished in the top-four last season or Manchester United who won the Europa League.
The midfielder does have talent. However, he is far from the finished product at 23 years of age. His decision-making can be poor, which hindered Everton’s attacking play last season at times.
Tottenham the favourites to sign Barkley
It seems that Ross Barkley will leave Everton this summer and the midfielder is now odds of 11/10 to be a Tottenham player by the end of the summer transfer window. It is hard to see where Barkley would fit into that Spurs side.
Unless they need a very expensive benchwarmer, Barkley has no use to the north London club. They already have a £30million substitute in French international Moussa Sissoko occupying space in their dugout.
Other clubs like Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are also reportedly interested in signing the midfielder. However, arguably he would not get near the starting line-ups at any of the three clubs mentioned.
Barkley’s decision to move on this summer is a strange one. Everton have made a good fist of being ambitious this summer. To leave this summer seems to be motivated by either money or fear of losing his place.
Ross Barkley is 23 and still has plenty of time to develop into a top player. However, sitting on a Premier League bench next season will do little to help him become a better player.
Where will Ross Barkley be plying his trade next season?
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