The future of Tottenham transfer target Ross Barkley is unclear according to Everton manager Ronald Koeman.
The 23 year old play-maker has been linked with a move to Tottenham for a number of weeks now, amidst reports that the creative Englishman has been unwilling to commit to a new contract at Goodison Park.
However, despite a number of reports suggesting that Everton boss Ronald Koeman will be forced to sell the young midfielder in order to avoid Barkley leaving on a free transfer in 2018, Spurs have cooled their interest.
Spurs are apparently waiting for Everton to lower their transfer fee or for a better alternative to present itself, with Tottenham reportedly having baulked at the £50 million price-tag placed on the midfielder.
When speaking to The Liverpool Echo, Ronald Koeman was asked whether he could shed any light on the current situation. He responded with:
“At the moment it is not a clear situation.”
A groin injury has ruled Ross Barkley out of Everton’s friendly in Tanzania this week and subsequently, the Englishman has not traveled with the rest of the squad.
Koeman then seized on the opportunity to quash any misguided speculation over why Barkley wasn’t named in the squad, stating:
“He is not fit, that’s the reason he didn’t travel with the team.”
“We will see when he is fit and back, but everybody knows his situation, and we will see what will happen.”
One factor which may influence Barkley’s future in Merseyside, is the ongoing transfer saga over Icelandic attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
According to The Telegraph, the former Spur has been the subject of a reported £40 million bid from Everton recently, which was defiantly rejected by Swansea City, who want roughly £50 million for the 27 year old, who scored and assisted 24 times in 40 appearances last season.
“We are close to having the right squad,” Koeman added. “We did really good business, brought really good players who will make the team stronger and give the team competition.”
“We are expecting maybe one or two players more to come in. It’s really important to already have the players in because they need the adaptation, to learn how we like to play.”
If the two clubs do in fact reach an agreement for the play-maker, and if it is indeed for a fee close to the figure of £50 million, then Tottenham may very well get their man, but for a high price.
It is expected that Sigurdsson would directly replace Barkley as the creative central outlet in the team and his arrival at Goodison Park would for all intents and purposes signal that Barkley is finished at Everton.
However, if Swansea are successful in claiming over £40 million for the midfielder, then Everton will likely look to recoup some of their money when selling Barkley to Spurs, irrespective of the millions made in the Lukaku transfer.
I’m fairly confident Spurs will sign Barkley eventually, but I’m not so sure Everton will be willing to front £50 million for Sigurdsson, no matter how much they have in the bank.
How do you think it will all play out? Will we miss out? Or will we end up paying a King’s ransom after all?