Everton boss Koeman not confident of Barkley stay

HALEWOOD ENGLAND- MARCH 16  Ross Barkley and Ronald Koeman during the Everton FC training session at USM Finch Farm

Everton boss Koeman not confident of Barkley stay

"I don't know what will happen if he doesn't give any answer about that".

Barkley's current contract at Everton expires at the end of next season, with manager Ronald Koeman stating that the midfielder will be sold if he doesn't agree to a new deal before the conclusion of the current campaign.

Asked directly by reporters on Friday if he was confident about Barkley's contract situation, Koeman said: "No".

As Koeman says, Everton will either retain arguably their second-best player (Romelu Lukaku's future will likely turn into a protracted transfer saga as well), or they'll cash in for a fee of around $30 million. We will look for players in that position and even if he stays there will be more competition for him'.

Everton are primed to spend heavily in the summer in order to compete both domestically and overseas next season, and they will be loath to lose Barkley to Tottenham, a team they want to close the gap on rather than help strengthen.

Asked at a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Arsenal whether there was any update on Barkley's future, Koeman said: "I don't know".

"I think Manchester City will try and sign stronger and maybe better players - players who have won things over the years. It is after the game, on Monday - then we will know it". If we didn't want him to stay longer we wouldn't offer him a new contract.

"I spoke to the player, the board spoke to his agent. I have a good record against Arsenal, let's hope we keep that". I expect an answer soon after the weekend and not another ten days'.

Koeman said of Lukaku: "Even if he doesn't win the golden boot, 24 goals is a good number". But that is what we work on to improve.

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