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Everton boss Ronald Koeman unsure whether Barkley will stay at club

 

By Staff Reporter

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is not confident Ross Barkley will stay with the club, but is "not worried" about the situation.

Koeman says the Toffees are looking for players who operate in Barkley's position irrespective of whether or not the 23-year-old midfielder signs a new deal, with his current contract expiring in the summer of 2018.

The board have been working to try to get Barkley to sign a new deal, and the England international was told last week by Koeman that he had until the end of this season to make a decision on his future, with the Dutchman saying at the time: "Either he accepts the contract or we sell the player."

Everton's season concludes with tomorrow's trip to London to face Arsenal and, asked yesterday whether there was any update on Barkley's future, Koeman said: "I don't know. It is after the game, on Monday - then we will know it."

When then asked if he felt confident that Barkley would stay with Everton, Koeman said: "No, because it is a long time that he is thinking about his future.

"But I'm not worried, because I like to work with players who like to stay. And - it is not about his decision - we will go on. We are looking for players in that position. Even if he stays, there will be more competition for him next season."

Koeman stressed Everton do want academy graduate Barkley to stay, and admitted he does not know what will happen if there is no change to the current situation.

"If you offer a player a new contract, and a good contract, that means you'd like to keep the player," he said. "I spoke to the player, the board spoke to the player and his agent. We need an answer after the weekend.

"We will see what the answer will be."

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