Everton manager Ronald Koeman tells Ross Barkley to sign a new deal or leave in the summer

Rhod Cannon
Ross Barkley

Ronald Koeman says Everton will sell coveted playmaker Ross Barkley if he does not sign a new deal with his boyhood club this summer. Barkley has been in stupendous form for the Toffees since the turn of the year and is attracting interest from a host of clubs, with his current contract at Goodison Park set to expire at the end of next season.

Koeman, whose treatment of Barkley has been a hot topic this season, praised the midfielder's performance during his side's 4-2 victory over Premier League champions Leicester City on Sunday (9 April) but saw fit to issue an ultimatum regarding the 23-year-old's future.

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"We offer him a new contract, and there are two possibilities," Koeman told BBC Sport. One, he signs that contract. If he doesn't sign that contract then we need to sell the player. It's simple, it's not so difficult in my opinion."

Barkley's future is not the only cause of concern for the Everton hierarchy; Romelu Lukaku is yet to sign a new deal with the Merseysiders and has made no secret of his burning desire to play Champions League as soon as possible. Koeman, who dealt excellently with losing his key players at Southampton, says he and the powers that be at Goodison Park will try to keep the Belgian and Barkley beyond this summer and praised them for their 'outstanding' displays against Craig Shakespeare's men.

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Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley

"We try to keep the best players," the Everton boss added. "We spoke a lot about Ross and Rom because they are really important. Most of the time the quality of the players can be the difference between Everton and the opponent, and they played really well.

"We know Rom is a great finisher but Ross played really good football between the lines. I think he should have scored one but it is what you like to see – your best players performing like they showed, because they were outstanding. The whole team was outstanding."

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