Ronald Koeman has warned Everton playmaker Ross Barkley that the club will sell him if he does not sign a new contract at Goodison Park. Barkley's current deal with his boyhood club expires at the end of next season and talks to extend his spell with the Toffees are planned, but Koeman believes the 23-year-old needs to make a decision sooner rather than later.
Barkley has enjoyed a resurgence in form in recent months and has been rewarded for his excellent performances with a call-up to the England squad. Koeman is happy with what he is seeing from his number 8 and knows that he has to provide him with "the best reasons" to stay at Everton.
"I think every situation is different," Koeman said in his press conference. "Ross is a boy from Everton and what we need to show to him are the best reasons to stay. Of course his situation is different [to that of Romelu Lukaku] as his contract runs out next year.
"Football is a business. You make decisions at the end of the season, he needs to sign a new contract or else we sell." Asked for an update regarding contract talks, Koeman said: "I don't know."
Koeman's message was strong and forthright, but the Dutchman was keen to stress that he was not giving Barkley an ultimatum. The boyhood Everton fan was recently linked with a £30m (€34.6m) move to Tottenham but Koeman does not want that to happen and has challenged the club's board to tie his star man to a new long-term contract.
"That's no ultimatum, no. That's normal," the Everton boss added. "That's business, I spoke to Ross about a new contract and it's now up to the board to get that over the line. If not, the player has a new future.
"I think that's normal, not strange, when I was Southampton boss [Nathaniel] Clyne did not accept a new deal, and we sold him in the summer. The player needs to understand if he doesn't sign a new deal he needs to make a decision for the club so they know what will happen. That's not an ultimatum. I don't like that word."