Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has been heavily linked with a move to London for the majority of this season.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have all reportedly declared their interest at one point or another, as his existing deal continues to run down and there has been no update in regards to his future on Merseyside.
Ronald Koeman has handed the creative midfielder an ultimatum, either sign a new contract extension in the next week or he’ll be sold.
Another report has suggested they’ll entertain offers in the region of £35m for the Englishman, should he refuse to extend his stay at Goodison Park.
Barkley scored the first and only goal during their slender victory over Watford last Friday with a strike from range, with many suggesting that was his last home appearance as a Blue.
Ironically, Everton’s final league fixture is an away trip to the Emirates this Sunday and Barkley could potentially be an Arsenal player next season, though it’s unlikely.
“Either he accepts the contract or we sell the player,” said Koeman.
“But if you need so much time then you have doubts – I like to work with players who like to stay.”
Koeman revealed that the Everton board had tried “for a long time” to get Barkley to sign and were already looking at replacements in attacking positions.
He added: “We don’t wait till August – next weekend we need an answer.”
Barkley has had a decent season despite spells of inconsistency, where his decision-making has let him down in the final third.
But the fact that he’s still yet to sign a new deal suggests he wants an upgrade in quality and competitiveness, as Everton collectively aren’t consistent enough to challenge for a Champions League place.
£35m is a high price-tag but Barkley is undoubtedly talented, though it’ll be interesting to see how this situation develops.
Would Arsenal pay the fee? I’m not convinced.