Ross Barkley

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Koeman not confident Barkley will stay at Everton; “not worried” either

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One week ago Friday, Ronald Koeman reiterated Everton’s stance that Ross Barkley is still very much wanted at Goodison Park, provided he signs a new long-term contract soon — very soon… like, before-the-start-of-the-summer soon.

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With the 2016-17 Premier League season coming to close with Championship Sunday in less than 48 hours’ time, time is running out on the (loose) club-imposed deadline for Barkley to accept and sign the contract offered to him. Whether or not the 23-year-old opts to sign, Koeman wants everyone to believe he’s not bothered either way — quotes from the Guardian:

“Either he accepts the contract, or we sell the player.”

When then asked if he felt confident that Barkley would stay, Koeman said: “No, because it is a long time that he is thinking about his future. But I’m not worried because I like to work with players who like to stay. And it is not about his decision. We will go on. We are looking for players in that position. Even if he stays, there will be more competition for him next season.”

“If you offer a player a new contract, and a good contract, that means that you like to keep the player. I spoke to the player, the board spoke to the player and his agent. We need an answer after the weekend. I don’t know what will happen if he doesn’t give any answer about that.”

[ WATCH: Kane scores 4 to pass Lukaku in Golden Boot race ]

As Koeman says, Everton will either retain arguably their second-best player (Romelu Lukaku‘s future will likely turn into a protracted transfer saga as well), or they’ll cash in for a fee of around $30 million. The problem is, without UEFA Champions League football to offer incoming recruits, they’re unlikely to land a replacement of Barkley’s caliber.

Koeman: Everton hope Barkley will stay; “It is up to the player”

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The contract stalemate between Ross Barkley and Everton is expected to reach its conclusion in the days between now and end of the Premier League season — or, so the club hopes.

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With a handful of clubs interested in his services this summer (clubs that are able to pay the 23-year-old significantly more than Everton can do), the ball is 100 percent in Barkley’s court as he and he alone decides his immediate and long-term future. With a new contract already agreed with Everton (his current deal expires in just over 12 months’ time) but not yet signed, Barkley’s going to get paid either way.

Per Everton manager Ronald Koeman, the club’s official stance is still very much, “Please stay, Ross. Please.” Speaking after the Toffees’ 1-0 victory over Watford on Friday, Koeman was inevitably asked about Barkley’s contract situation — quotes from the BBC:

“I am really proud of the players’ record at home this season with 13 wins in the 19 games. We did not have the aggression and intensity in the first half, but we were better after the break.

“Ross’s goal is what we need, more goals from midfield. We hope that he will sign the contract, but it is not up to me, or the board, it is up to the player. We have offered Ross a really good contract. We cannot wait until the summer, until August.

“I am really happy. I think that we have had a really good season, finishing behind the big six in the Premier League. We need to do better away from home, but that is for next season.”

Everton 1-0 Watford: Goal for Barkley in his last game at Goodison?

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  • Barkley’s 5th goal this season broke the deadlock
  • Everton locked into 7th-place finish
  • Watford miss chance to go 10th, remain 15th

With their season two games from the finish line and virtually nothing to play for, you’d almost understand if Everton turned in a pair of subpar performances to close out the 2016-17 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

On Friday, though, with Watford visiting in the final game at Goodison Park this season, Ronald Koeman‘s side cruised to victory courtesy of Ross Barkley‘s fifth goal of the season just 10 minutes after halftime.

Tom Davies forced Gomes into a difficult diving save in the 22nd minute, as the 18-year-old academy product fired from 25 yards out but Watford’s Brazilian no. 1 was quick to scramble across the face of goal and push the swerving ball wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Barkley, with constant speculation over his future at Everton ongoing, put his name into the headlines once again with a well-hit strike from 25 yards out in the 56th minute. The ball’s downward movement froze Gomes ever so slightly as it dipped and moved right to left before nestling itself into the inside netting.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Perhaps Everton should have been awarded a penalty not long after the hour mark, as Romelu Lukaku was taken down by Daryl Janmaat‘s sliding challenge in an attempt to win the ball. If Janmaat won the ball, the contact he made with it was ever so slight and simultaneous to contact with Lukaku.

The lone moment in which Joel Robles was called upon to preserve Everton’s lead came in the 87th minute, as the ball was played long and into the box, and M’Baye Niang blasted a shot toward goal from eight yards out. The Spanish goalkeeper was quick to react and dive to his right, making the save with his outstretched right hand.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The result sees Everton, who can’t finish any higher or lower than seventh this season, cross the 60-point plateau as they reach 61 points for the first time in three seasons. Watford, meanwhile, would have gone 10 in the PL table with a win, but the defeat means they’ll spend another few days in 15th instead.

Premier League wrap: Safety shakeup for Swansea, Hull, Palace

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The Premier League day began with a thunderous Manchester City win over Crystal Palace, but started to nap through 45 minutes of four 10 a.m. ET matches.

My, did that change.


Swansea City 1-0 EvertonRECAP

What a day for Paul Clement and Wales’ Premier League mainstay, as Fernando Llorente scored early and Swansea pursued a second while defending doggedly in a massive win which moves it a point ahead of Hull City in the race to avoid the drop.

As for Everton, which was shutout for the third-straight match, it’s hard to fake desperation. That said, Kevin Mirallas, Romelu Lukaku, and Ross Barkley combined to miss or just miss on a half-dozen quality chances.

Hull City 0-2 Sunderland — RECAP

This seemed like the easiest part of Hull’s run-in, but the relegated Black Cats mustered goals from Billy Jones (?!?) and Jermain Defoe and shocked the KCOM Stadium and put the Tigers into 18th place after Swans’ win.

Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Manchester City was fantastic, as Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, and Nicolas Otamendi all had shouts as Man of the Match. City moves level with Liverpool, four points ahead of fifth place Manchester United and nine ahead of sixth place Arsenal.

As for Crystal Palace…

Confident Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce on Friday: “Here, nothing happens in the middle. It doesn’t seem the ideal place for Guardiola’s brand of passing football. Yet, he says he knew all about it before he came. It’s no surprise because I was a fan of the Premier League as a teenager, as an adult, as a player and as a manager.”

Less confident Sam Allardyce on Saturday: “We simply lost control and Manchester City scored more and more. … My team was unrecognisable from what I’ve seen over the last two or three months – hopefully that is a one-off and the lads have got it out of our system ahead of the biggest game of the season next week at home to Hull. But [we were] very disappointing here.”

Bournemouth 2-2 Stoke CityRECAP

Adam Smith helped produce a pair of goals for the hosts, but an own goal and a Mame Biram Diouf marker made sure both teams got the points they needed to clinch another season in the Premier League.

Burnley 2-2 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP

Ashley Barnes set Sam Vokes up for a first half goal, then watched as Vokes rescued a point for Burnley after Salomon Rondon and Craig Dawson scored to put the visitors ahead. West Brom has one win in its last nine matches.

Leicester City 3-0 Watford — RECAP

Manager Craig Shakespeare has presided over 22 points won in Leicester’s last 10 matches, and goals from Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton, and Wilfried Ndidi have the Foxes within distance of eighth place.

Swansea 1-0 Everton: Spirited Swans out of drop zone

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  • Llorente powers win
  • Swansea a point ahead of Hull
  • Everton remains 7th on 58 points

Swansea City picked up a gutsy 1-0 win over visiting Everton at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday to move out of the drop zone for the first time in a month.

Fernando Llorente’s first half goal was enough for Swansea to take advantage of Hull City’s loss to Sunderland.

Everton is goalless in three-straight Premier League matches.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A Swansea City counter snapped the match to life as Jordan Ayew led the rush and Tom Davies chopped him down. Lined up centrally about 35 yards out, Gylfi Sigurdsson chipped the ball directly to Joel Robles.

Sigurdsson thought he’d won a penalty in the 29th minute, but Martin Atkinson resisted the home shouts. That was fine for Swansea, as Llorente used that famous head to make it 1-0 within moments.

Alfie Mawson thought he’d made it 2-0 at the back door when young Mason Holgate made a terrific back post tackle to keep the deficit at one.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Everton looked a little brighter in the second half, but Swansea still produced the better chances. Ayew hit a ball off the post in the 55th minute that would’ve sent the Liberty Stadium to the moon.

Llorente headed a corner toward the back post, but Maarten Stekelenburg dove right to catch it.

Everton had a chance to make it 1-1 when Davies sent a bar to Mirallas that Swansea battled to clear.

Another chance came from substitute Leroy Fer, who raced onto Tom Carroll‘s left-footed cross to fire a fine shot that Stekelenburg knocked out for a corner.

The final 10-15 minutes were all about Everton, but desperate Swansea was in on every block, tackle, and loose ball. Substitute Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas were especially dangerous without finish, while Romelu Lukaku belted a ball off the outside of the netting.