Ronald Koeman has said he “100 per cent” expects Ross Barkley to leave Everton this summer.
Speaking ahead of Everton’s Europa League qualifying clash with Ruzomberok tomorrow, Koeman said: “His situation is not too difficult, we made a good offer of a contract, he declined and told me that he is looking for a new challenge.
“It is not Everton future any more, it is his decision but the board say there is no offer on the table for Ross. I knew it at the end of the season.”
Barkley is recovering from groin surgery and will be allowed to train with the first team once fully fit. His future is unlikely to be resolved until late in the transfer window with Everton expecting interest from several clubs.
Koeman said: “It is really clear. I am looking to other players – that is my priority and not Ross, with all respect, because it is his decision. Everybody knows what the situation is. He told me at the end of last season. He has one more year on his contract and we work with respectful people. And after his surgery, if he is back for training, he will be part of the first team sessions. There have been no change [in his attitude]. He has been the same.”
Everton have embarked on an extensive and expensive recruitment drive this summer but it is not over, with Gylfi Sigurdsson still a target despite Swansea City’s insistence on £50m for the Iceland international