Everton face a testing summer window in the months ahead as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen his squad and increase the chances of the Toffees breaking into the top-six, all whilst contending with the likely departures of key names.
Romelu Lukaku continues to be linked with a huge move away from Goodison Park in the close season and speculation continues to circle over the head of England ace Ross Barkley, as contract discussions have seemingly hit a brick wall.
Koeman has issued an ultimatum to the 23-year-old and is preparing to sell the influential midfielder if he does not extend his contract, although The Telegraph states he’s demanding a mouth-watering price of £50m for the Tottenham target.
It’s difficult to argue that Barkley is worth that much and it’s set to cause a lot of debate over the summer months, so we asked our team where they expect Barkley to be playing next season and whether he’s worth the monumental price-tag mentioned.
Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)
Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)
Ross Barkley looks set to leave Everton in the summer and at the moment; the ideal place for him to move would probably be Tottenham. People always say that Barkley just needs someone to guide him and help him find his best form, and at the moment there is no one better at that at a big club than Mauricio Pochettino.
He may not get as many minutes as he is at Everton right now, but the fact of the matter is he wouldn’t at any other top 6 clubs either. With regards to his price tag, there is no way he is worth £50M, but Everton will have to lower it or risk losing him on a free next summer.
Josh Challies (@Challies11)
Ross Barkley may well complete a u-turn and secure his future with the Toffees for another few seasons but the longer he waits, the more he risks causing irreparable damage to his relationship with his boyhood club- and Ronald Koeman isn’t prepared for any mucking around.
As it stands, North London is the most likely destination for Barkley but Tottenham may find competition in the market from rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have a big summer ahead and one crucial aspect that is being overlooked is the club’s decreasing homegrown contingent.
Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are amongst the Englishmen linked with a summer exit, which would leave Arsenal’s homegrown ranks looking severely lacking- so a move for British players is likely this summer.
In regards to his price-tag, there is no way that Ross Barkley is worth that amount and it’s difficult to imagine Everton actually commanding such a high-price for a player of his services and negotiations will likely decrease the figure to somewhere around £30m, plus add-ons.
Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)
Spurs seem likely candidates to sign him, but I have a hunch he will remain at Everton. The price tag is extortionate for a player who suffers from great inconsistency and only one of the top six would be able to stump up that sort of fee.
There’s still a chance Barkley becomes a one-in-a-generation player for England, but it’d be a severe risk from any top six clubs.