Ross Barkley heads into the last year of his Everton contract next season, and while manager Ronald Koeman stated he wants Barkley to stay, he admitted the decision is in the hands of the front office, and the possibility remains that Barkley could leave if no new deal is completed.
Koeman said that everything from here on out “is business” for both Everton and the 23-year-old, and that should Barkley head into next season without a new deal, it’s not an “ultimatum” to the player.
“I think every situation is different. Ross is a boy from Everton and what we need to show him is the best reasons to stay,” Koeman said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Toffees’ Premier League match against Hull City on Saturday. “Of course his situation is different because Ross is running out next year in the last year of his contract. Normally you make decisions at the end of the season, and you need to sign a new contract or you sell the player.”
But despite Koeman’s admittance that usually a player is sold in the final year of his deal, he hopes Barkley doesn’t see his individual situation that way.
“There is no ultimatum, no, but it’s normal, it’s business, you don’t give every player in his last season a contract, and I think the player by himself needs to understand this, it is not an ultimatum – I spoke to Ross about a new contract and now it is up to the board to get that contract over the line, and if not, as a player you see a new future for yourself.”
Koeman then looked back to his time at Southampton, recalling Nathaniel Clyne‘s tenure with Saints, which finished with a sale to Liverpool after failing to agree to an extension and entering the final year of his deal.
Barkley, an Everton youth product, has made 140 Premier League appearances for the Toffees and 169 overall. This season, he has four goals and seven assists in 26 league matches.