Ross Barkley: Everton midfielder has until next weekend to sign new deal

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Accept contract or we sell Barkley - Koeman

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has until the end of the Premier League season next weekend to sign a new contract or he will be sold, says manager Ronald Koeman.

Koeman last month warned the England international, 23, that with a year left on his deal he could be sold.

Everton face Watford on Friday before finishing their Premier League campaign at Arsenal on Sunday, 21 May.

"Either he accepts the contract or we sell the player," said Koeman.

"But if you need so much time then you have doubts - I like to work with players who like to stay."

The Dutchman said the Everton board had tried "for a long time" to get Barkley to sign and were already looking at replacements in attacking positions.

He added: "We don't wait till August - next weekend we need an answer."

Barkley has scored four goals and provided eight assists in 34 Premier League appearances this season.


BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty:

Koeman has used tough love to get the best out of Barkley this season - from public criticism, removal at half-time at Sunderland, praise for improvement but then back to dropping him at Swansea City last weekend. The latest message was just tough - no love involved.

Ruthless and pragmatic, the Everton boss delivered the ultimatum with the air of a man who would not lose a single second of sleep should he have to sell Barkley, making it clear he questions his long-term commitment because of his apparent reluctance to sign a new deal.

Barkley now faces a dilemma. The boyhood Everton fan seems to believe the grass might be greener elsewhere, perhaps for Champions League football at Tottenham. But would Barkley even get in a Spurs team that already has Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen? Could he risk being a bench-warmer with a World Cup looming and England looking certain to qualify?

For Koeman's part, this unsentimental and single-minded individual clearly believes Barkley has had long enough to decide if he wants to stay at Everton and if he wishes to leave seems perfectly content to show him the door.

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