Time running out for Everton star Ross Barkley

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has publicly told Ross Barkley that he has until next week to decide if he is going to sign a new contract or not, reports The Telegraph.

What’s the word?

While addressing the media this week ahead of tonight’s Premier League match against Watford, Koeman delivered an update on Barkley’s future.

He told reporters that the situation needs to be resolved by next week so the Dutchman can begin preparations for the new season.

The Telegraph quotes Koeman as saying:

“We offered him a contract. They had several meetings about a new contract and this is the contract. We don’t go and go and go. This is what he needs to sign if he likes to stay.

“It is still one week, eh? Time for him to decide because the board is already working a long time to sign Ross for a longer period.  It is up to the player because we won’t wait until August.

“It needs to be next week, because if we go for a holiday we need to know if we need to sell the player. I like to work with players who like to stay. It is up to the player – he needs to make a decision.”

The publication claims that it is unlikely Barkley will sign on the dotted line by Koeman’s deadline, suggesting that he will be sold in the summer.

Is Barkley likely to leave?

At the moment, it looks that way. The fact that Barkley is yet to sign even though a contract offer has been made, suggests that he is considering his options.

Of course, it could be a case of his agent Paul Martin trying to squeeze a bigger wage packet out of the Merseyside club, but Koeman has said a handful of times that Barkley will be sold this summer rather than run down the final year of his current deal.

The Dutchman’s openness to the media about the situation is an interesting tactic, one that has so far not encouraged Barkley to respond in public.

It is understandable that Koeman wants an answer soon and the fact that he is not willing to budge indicates that he is willing to move on without Barkley in his squad.