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Ross Barkley given deadline to sign new Everton FC contract

Brendan O'Neill in News 12 May 2017
Ross Barkley (right) of Everton in action during a pre-season friendly match (credit:livesport.co.uk)

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has set Ross Barkley a deadline of the season’s final weekend to inform the club of whether he intends to sign a new contract.

Koeman has confirmed that if the England midfielder refuses to extend his stay with the Toffees, he will be sold.

The Dutchman has expressed doubts over whether Barkley will commit his future to the Merseyside club.

Barkley has just over a year left on his current deal and several months ago Koeman indicated there was a deadline of the end of the season for the 23-year-old to re-sign or he would be sold.

Koeman has reiterated that Everton need an answer by next weekend when Everton finish their Premier League campaign away to Arsenal.

However, the manager is by no means confident there will be a successful outcome and has already started looking at replacements in offensive positions – perhaps also fearing that Romelu Lukaku will also be leaving Goodison Park in the summer.

Koeman said: “It is still one week. Time for him to decide. The board has been working a long time to sign Ross for him to stay for a longer period but it is up to the player.

 “But we don't wait until August. Next weekend we need an answer. If we go on holiday, we need to know. Either he accepts the contract or we sell the player.

 “But if you need so much time then you have doubts. I like to work with players who like to stay. We are already trying to get players in for next season in the front positions.

 “It is up to the player and he needs to make a decision.”

One player who is due to sign a new contract is Belgian winger Kevin Mirallas after Everton chairman Bill Kenwright broke the news at the club's end-of-season awards ceremony on Tuesday.

Asked whether a conclusion to the deal was close, Koeman said: “Yes. Normally it is because we have the agreement with the player and that is good because he is a really good player.  “I spoke to him and we need more productivity from him.”