Ronald Koeman

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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.”

Koeman gives Barkley ultimatum: “Next weekend we need an answer.”

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If Ross Barkley wants to stay at Everton, he’d better sign his contract.

That’s the message from manager Ronald Koeman, who says the Toffees are looking at alternatives in attack already in case Barkley doesn’t decide to stay at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to UEL semi win ]

The 23-year-old has seen Koeman’s words for months, and knows that he’ll be sold without a new contract. The manager is tired of waiting.

From the BBC:

“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.”

He added: “We don’t wait till August – next weekend we need an answer.”

Barkley has had a good season for Koeman, who has used several different methods including tough love to get the best out of the attacker. Will this one work?

Report: Everton wants $22 million Sunderland GK Pickford

Report: Everton wants $22 million Sunderland GK Pickford
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The vultures are already picking at freshly relegated Sunderland, with Everton aiming to pick up a prime asset from a club heading down to the Championship for a second-straight season.

The Toffees purchased arguable player of the season Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa last season, and is hoping to buy England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from his childhood club this summer.

[ MORE: Moyes will be back ]

Manager Ronald Koeman‘s Toffees have struggled to find a replacement for Tim Howard between the sticks, with Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles splitting time this season.

From The Northern Echo:

(Koeman) is set to launch a formal approach once the season is at an end, and is confident of securing a deal for around £17m. Sunderland will be hoping to secure at least £20m for Pickford’s services, but will be mindful that their negotiating position has been weakened by their relegation.

The report says Liverpool and Manchester City are also expected to have interest in Pickford. The only thing that’s pretty certain? He won’t be going to Newcastle United.

Ronald Koeman plays down Barcelona speculation

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Ronald Koeman has moved to reassure Everton fans he will be sticking around at the Toffees (terrible pun klaxon) for the foreseeable future.

[ MORE: Mourinho to rest players?

After speaking to Catalan outlet Sport, Koeman was quoted as saying that he was “his dream” to return to Barcelona and manage the Nou Camp club, as well as to manage the Dutch national team.

Asked about that interview ahead of Everton’s trip to Swansea City on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCsports.com) Koeman played down talk of him heading to Barca this summer as the Spanish giants will lose manager Luis Enrique’s who is stepping down.

“I mentioned several times that I think it is human ambition that means for players, that means for managers. That is not changing my contract or my ambitions with Everton,” Koeman said. “I am really happy to be in Everton. I am looking forward to next season. It is a big project and I would like to be a part of that project. The interview is coming out of 25 years ago we won the title at Wembley, so it is normal they will ask me questions about the Barcelona job. There is no chance I will leave Everton before the end of my contract.”

Koeman’s current deal at Everton runs until 2019 and by that time the Toffees may be close to having a new waterfront stadium in the City of Liverpool plus if owner Farhad Moshiri’s continues to invest heavily in the squad, Koeman may well lead Everton in the UEFA Champions League as all Evertonians dream.

Yet his dreams of returning to the place where he won a Champions League title (his free kick handed Barca a 1-0 win against Sampdoria in the final at Wembley in 1992) as a player to manage the club appear to be at the forefront of his mind.

Over the past few years Koeman has had great success in the Premier League first with Southampton (7th place in 2014-15 and 6th place in 2015-16) and now with Everton as the Toffees can easily finish the season in fifth place.

However before his move to England his nomadic coaching career took him to Holland, Portugal and Spain and in the latter two countries he failed to inspire big clubs in Benfica and Valencia. That, plus his ill-fated stint as an assistant at Barcelona from 1998-00 when Louis Van Gaal was in charge, means that perhaps not everyone at Barcelona is convinced that Koeman is the right man for one of the biggest jobs in the game.

With the Barcelona job becoming available this summer, it may be a case of the wrong place at the wrong time for Koeman. However, with Lionel Messi 29-year-old and the likes of Luis Suarez and Neymar around, can he really turn down the chance to manager Barca if they come calling?

Everton fans have every right to be a little worried.