English Premiership

Koeman confirms Barkley definitely set to leave Everton

Ross Barkley (Getty Images)
Ross Barkley (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Everton boss Ronald Koeman expects Ross Barkley to leave the club after rejecting their final offer to extend his stay at Goodison Park.

The 23-year-old play-maker struggled for consistency under Koeman last season, but is highly rated by the Toffees having graduated from their academy in 2010.

Barkley was linked with a move away from Merseyside after being left out of the pre-season tours to Africa and the Netherlands, although it later emerged he had undergone surgery on a groin injury.

The Premier League outfit had hoped to secure the England international's long-term future, but he has no interest in committing beyond his current contract, which expires in June 2018.

"His personal situation is not so difficult," Koeman said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"We made a really good offer to him to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me that he is looking for a new challenge.

"Okay, he is not in Everton's future any more. It is his decision. I need to respect that and see what happens."

When asked if Barkley was definitely leaving, the Dutchman replied: "Yes."

However, Koeman was quick to point out that the Toffees have yet to receive any bids for their youth product, who has made 179 appearances in all competitions for his hometown team.

"What I heard from the board at the moment is that there is no offer on the table for Ross," he added.

Meanwhile Koeman believes compatriot Davy Klaassen has what it takes to adjust to the Premier League's tempo and intensity.

The 24-year-old midfielder signed for the Toffees from Dutch giants Ajax earlier in the transfer window, and Koeman believes the experience he gained at his former employers will stand him in good stead.

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