Everton have enjoyed a busy transfer window so far but the next few weeks could revolve around further departures, following the loss of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
Ronald Koeman’s side have showed their ambition this summer by being incredible active, adding the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney to their squad, but questions remain on the future of one key-asset.
Ross Barkley has still not signed a new contract, despite being informed by the Dutch manager he would be sold this summer if he did not do so, and questions have raised further after he was left out of the club’s pre-season trip to Tanzania.
The Daily Mail states Everton have claimed Barkley is suffering from a groin injury but the likelihood of Barkley leaving rises day by day, as the 23-year-old has entered the final 12 months of his contract- and Everton would rather sell than lose him on a free transfer next summer.
Unfortunately for Barkley, his bargaining position has been weakened due to the fact that interest in his services has cooled significantly- leaving the England international in limbo.
Where does he fit at Everton?
Barkley’s biggest issue at the moment is the fact that Everton see him as expendable, with the Toffees having strengthen their ranks this summer with the additions of Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaasen- both of whom are amongst Everton’s 25-man tour squad and could fit into Barkley’s attacking midfield position.
The Toffees also continue to chase Gylfi Sigurdsson, who could again fit into the slot that Barkley has adopted in recent years, and Everton’s priority is getting a deal for the Icelandic international done, as well as signing a striker to replace Lukaku.
That means Barkley is left in a difficult position as his club’s demands of around £50m have led to a decrease in interest in his services and he currently doesn’t have a strong position to argue his case with Koeman.
What’s a likely outcome?
With Barkley struggling to find his place in Everton’s new-look side and interested parties being put-off by Everton’s £50m asking-price, the young midfielder may have to swallow his pride and work on rebuilding the bridges at Goodison Park.
The Toffees would no doubt be delighted if Barkley committed his future to Everton on a long-term basis and that seems to be the best course of action for him, as even a move to Arsenal or Tottenham wouldn’t give him guaranteed first-team football.
If Barkley sorts his head out, then he could be a crucial part of Everton’s new-look side and it’s a test of his maturity and desire now.