By all accounts, Ross Barkley still wants to leave Everton this summer and will not sign a new contract with his boyhood club.
The Blues are bringing in better and more well rounded players in Barkley’s position like Davy Klaassen and potentially Gylfi Sigurdsson, and as such show no hesitancy to let the player leave.
However, Everton no longer need to sell in order to buy, and the market for Barkley’s services - such as they are - is nearly nonexistent and getting smaller by the day, if Sky Sports are to be believed.
Tottenham are prepared to wait for Everton to lower their asking price for Ross Barkley as the transfer window progresses, according to Sky sources.
Sky sources understand Everton value the 23-year-old at £50m, despite Barkley having only a year left on his contract and indicating he will not sign a new one this summer.
Though Spurs have baulked at the fee, their interest in Barkley will remain until the deadline. However, it is understood the north London club will not rule out moving for a different target should an attractive deal present itself.
It’s a strange dilemma. On the one hand, you can make the argument that Everton could use Barkley in the team for the upcoming campaign. On the other, here’s a player whose development has stagnated, and lost some goodwill for holding Ronald Koeman hostage over contract discussions.
Barkley has painted himself into a corner. The best place for his career is almost assuredly at Goodison Park, and he doesn’t deserve a starting spot on a Champions League side. Everton’s asking price may well be too high, but even if it drops as the summer goes along, there are unlikely to be additional suitors that decide Ross Barkley will fix what ails them.
What’s to be done, then? Should Everton drop the bottom out of their valuation, allowing Barkley to move to Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur for a bench role? Or should they continue playing hardball in the hopes that Barkley returns to the negotiating table for a fresh contract?
In previous summers, this would have been story number one at USM Finch Farm. This summer, though, Everton know that theirs will be an improved side next season whether Ross Barkley stays or goes.