In Focus: Koeman key to Barkley rejecting a new Everton contract

According to reports in The Times, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley turned down a new contract offer to stay with the club because of his strained relationship with manager Ronald Koeman, although his latest injury setback could prevent him from leaving this month.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Times says that the 23-year-old has rejected a new deal with the Merseyside outfit because of his poor relationship with Koeman, which came to a head last season when the England international confronted the Dutchman over his repeated public criticism of his performances.

The midfielder had been expected to leave Goodison Park before the transfer window slams shut at the end of this month with Everton wanting to cash in on him now rather than lose him for nothing in 2018, but The Times says that the Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea target may be forced to have surgery on a serious hamstring injury he suffered in training earlier this week and could be out of action for up to three months.

Will it stop him moving?

Potentially, yes.

The Times says the recovery period following a hamstring injury is three months but having already had his pre-season disrupted with speculation over his future and surgery on a doubler hernia, he may not be back in action until November.

That is likely to put off the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea as they look to strengthen their squads with players that can make an impact now, while there are also obvious doubts as to whether he would pass a medical and whether they would be willing to take a risk on an injured player that they could get for free in January or next summer.

What happens next?

Well, both Everton and the player will be disappointed with how things have turned out considering the Toffees could miss out on a transfer fee for the England international, while the player hasn’t got the move he seems to be craving.

Whether he is welcomed back into the first-team squad should he stay at Goodison Park remains to be seen, especially with Koeman already bringing in the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney this summer.