It's make-your-mind-up time for Barkley, says Koeman

12 May 2017 09:39

Everton manager Ronald Koeman heads into their final home match of the season not knowing whether Goodison Park will see either midfielder Ross Barkley or striker Romelu Lukaku in a blue shirt again.

The Dutchman has given Barkley until next weekend to tell the club whether he will sign the contract extension on offer, otherwise he will be sold as he is entering the final 12 months of his current deal.

Lukaku has two years left on his deal, but that will not stop some of Europe's top clubs, including former side Chelsea and ex-manager Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, testing Everton's resolve in the summer after the Belgium international said he would not sign a new contract.

Koeman is remaining calm over the situation concerning the Premier League's leading scorer, but admits the scenario surrounding Barkley is almost at a tipping point and has given the England international until next weekend to make up his mind.

"It is still one week. Time for him to decide," said the Dutchman ahead of Friday's visit of Watford.

"The board has been working a long time to sign Ross for him to stay for a longer period, but it is up to the player.

"But we don't wait till August. Next weekend we need an answer.

"If we go on holiday we need to know: either he accepts the contract or we sell the player.

"But if you need so much time then you have doubts.

"I like to work with players who like to stay. We are already trying to get players in for next season in the front positions.

"It is up to the player and he needs to make a decision."

Source: PA