Ross Barkley has put discussions over a new Everton contract on hold, according to the Daily Mail.
What’s the word?
The midfielder seems to have had quite a difficult relationship with Ronald Koeman ever since the Dutchman replaced Roberto Martinez in the summer.
On numerous occasions, Koeman has publicly stated that Barkley needs to work on various aspects of his game in order to hold down a regular spot in the team.
The 23-year-old was taken out of the first XI for Premier League matches against Manchester United and Watford, and even though he was reinstated for the 2-1 victory over Arsenal, there are still question marks over his long-term future.
The Daily Mail claims that Barkley is in no rush to open talks with the Merseyside outfit about fresh terms, even though his contract has 18 months left to run.
When it reaches this point, most key members of any football team begin dialogue with the club about their future, particularly if the hierarchy are keen for said player to stay put.
In the latest speculation surrounding Barkley, it has been reported that Tottenham Hotspur are keeping tabs on the midfielder, but a January move at the moment seems unlikely.
Should Barkley leave Everton?
Ever since the midfielder made his mark on the first team in 2013, there has been pressure on his shoulders to become a local hero.
Not since Wayne Rooney have the Toffees had a local lad that can perform well at the elite level, but for some reason, Barkley has failed to live up to expectation.
He was included in England’s Euro 2016 squad, but failed to make a single appearance during the tournament and he has not be called up to any Three Lions’ squads since the summer.
It would not be the worst move for Barkley if he did depart Goodison Park, particularly if there is an offer of first-team football on the table.
A transfer would also lift the burden of representing his boyhood club, but a switch to Tottenham Hotspur may not be the best option if the North London outfit do indeed come calling, mainly because Barkley is unlikely to see much first-team action.