Ronald Koeman held his pre-match press conference today ahead of Saturday’s match against Stoke City. With the transfer window remaining open for a few more weeks, much of the focus was on potential comings and goings at Finch Farm.
Gylfi Sigurdsson was discussed, but the biggest takeaway was a possible return to favor for Ross Barkley.
It’s possible that Everton are increasingly concerned that Swansea City’s Icelandic playmaker won’t make it through the door after all, thus a renewed need for Barkley. However, Koeman took a starkly different tone this week when discussing the wantaway Englishman.
...there is no offer on the table for Ross, that means he will stay at Everton. The player has a one year contract and if there is no offer - and maybe the club will not accept the offer because he is a good, young, English player. If somebody wants to buy Ross it’s a big deal.”
If there is no interest then he will stay and be part of the team.
I respect every personal ambition of every player. Still he is training with Everton, he is part of the team and training in a good way.
via the Liverpool Echo
Well then. Maybe the club will not accept the offer.
It’s certainly a departure from recent days, with Koeman even saying previously that Barkley was “100%” certain to exit Goodison Park.
What changed? It could be that Everton’s Dutch manager is attempting to cut Daniel Levy off at the pass - that is, to prevent a typically Tottenham Hotspur lowball offer for a player who Everton still values highly.
Either way, the fact that Barkley is training with his teammates and not publicly agitating for a sale like Virgil van Dijk is encouraging. It keeps the door slightly ajar for a return, and retains some leverage for Everton in transfer negotiations.
Ross Barkley will not play a part against Stoke City due to his limited to nonexistent preseason, however, Koeman did indicate that if Barkley stayed, there might possibly be a role for him in the squad.
Would Evertonians welcome their diamond back into the fold with open arms?