The future may be looking bright for Everton following a summer of big-money arrivals but it appears Ross Barkley remains unconvinced.
The 23-year-old England international has yet to sign a new contract at Goodison Park – rumoured to be £100,000 a week – with the Merseyside-born midfielder said to be keen on moving to London.
Tottenham continue to be linked, with paper talk suggesting they want Barkley to complete a move before the squad fly to America for a pre-season tour this week.
Will Spurs give him the switch to the capital he craves or could Barkley be left in limbo?
How much would he cost?
The fee is said to be the major sticking point in any deal with Tottenham, with Everton valuing Barkley at £50million but Spurs only willing to pay £25-30million for a player entering the last year of his current deal. Toffees boss Ronald Koeman set the playmaker numerous deadlines to accept the terms on offer, all of which passed a long time ago, so a deal is there to be done.
Do Tottenham need him?
Barkley is reportedly Mauricio Pochettino’s number one transfer target this summer, so the Argentinian obviously thinks so. Having said that, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli are two of the first names on the Tottenham team-sheet while Heung-min Son impressed whenever he played last season. Moussa Sissoko should have a point to prove having offered nothing since arriving from Newcastle for over £30million and is another player Barkley would be competing with. Premier League teams are required to have eight English players in their 25-man squad but Spurs are not lacking on that front, even with Kyle Walker moving to Manchester City. In a nutshell, it is hard to see where Barkley would fit in.
Do Everton need him?
Should a deal finally be reached with Swansea for Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton fans are unlikely to lose much sleep over Barkley’s departure. They have already brought in Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen as Koeman strives to add “more productivity” to his line-up. Barkley was the Toffees’ second top scorer in the Premier League last season with just five goals. This emphasises the Dutchman’s craving for creativity while also highlighting a fairly lacklustre goal return for a player in Barkley’s position. On his day, however, Barkley can be world class and supporters will hope any sale does not come back to haunt them.
Where else could he go?
Earlier this summer a move to West Ham was mooted, with the club set to double Barkley’s wages to £140,000 a week, while Crystal Palace have also been linked. Barkley’s desire to move to London would have to be strong to join either club, though, with neither involved in European competition this season. Italian pair AC and Inter Milan both have plenty of money to spend and are said to be interested but Tottenham remains the most likely destination for the wantaway midfielder.