Is Ross Barkley off to Spurs?
The Everton star stalls over a new contract
What a week it has been for Everton ace Ross Barkley. The 23-year-old midfielder, a product of the famed Goodison Park academy, was the victim of an unprovoked attack, according to his lawyer, when being hit in the face by an unknown man in a Liverpool bar.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but one who pulled no punches with the England cap is boss Ronald Koeman, who took to the press on Monday to issue a warning to his young-gun. Barkley has a year left on his contract at Everton, and is stalling over committing his long-term future to the club. Koeman was in no mood to be held to ransom however, telling reporters they have offered Barkley a new contract and the ball is now in his court.
Barkley has two options
The player has two options, according to Koeman, sign the contract, or if he doesn’t he will be sold. The no-nonsense 54-year-old Dutchman, who also faces a similar situation with leading scorer Romelu Lukaku, won’t bend over backwards to accommodate either, he has overseen a real turnaround in fortunes at Everton and has a vision for the club’s future. He wants a team of players who share his thinking, and if they don’t, well everyone has their price.
So, how will Barkley respond? Is he holding out for more money, knowing he can use his impressive recent form as a bargaining chip, or does he fancy playing his football elsewhere, either at a higher ranked Premier League side, or abroad? We look at three possible moves.
Happy reunion with Dele Alli
Tottenham lead the chase for Barkley’s signature, according to the press, and they won’t be scared off by his reported £30m price tag either. Barkley’s ambition has often been criticised, but in moving to White Hart Lane he’d be given a crack at the Champions League. He would join a side boasting Dele Alli and the pair already have a great partnership on England duty. Barkley scored the opener when Everton and Tottenham met at Goodison back in August. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is eager to add to his squad for next season’s European adventure.
Money no problem for Man City
Man City could afford to blow Everton out of the water in terms of wages, and could meet any transfer fee without too much fuss. The question is, could Pep Guardiola find a place for Barkley in his team? Barkley was an important part of the Everton side who beat City 4-0 earlier this year, and Pep, a lover of the stats, will be drawn to the fact the Englishman has netted four goals and provided eight assists this term. Losing the player to a fellow Premier League side would sting everyone connected to the club, losing him for nothing next year would be a lot worse.
Blues a great fit for Barkley
Several newspapers have Ross tied in with a move to Premier League champions in-waiting Chelsea, with the Stamford Bridge side said to be closely monitoring developments. Some of the red-tops even have Roman Abramovich digging deep to shell out £100m for a double swoop, bringing Lukaku and Barkley to London. A tad far-fetched? You never know at this time of year. They are on the lookout for a new striker, with Costa on his way out, but it’s unlikely they’d go back in for Lukaku, but Barkley would only enhance an already talented midfield. Cesc Fabregas hasn’t been a regular starter this season, and many believe he’ll leave in the summer. Barkley would have no trouble filling the gap.