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.”