Ronald Koeman has revealed that Everton haven't received an offer for Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea target Ross Barkley and warned the interested parties that the playmaker may remain at Goodison Park this season if a suitable bid does not arrive.
Barkley, 23, has made no secret of his desire to leave his boyhood club and rejected a lucrative contract offer from the Toffees earlier this summer. Everton are prepared to sell the vaunted England international and valued him at £50m a few months ago but they may have to sell Barkley for a smaller fee due to the lack of length on his current deal, which expire in less than 12 months' time.
Tottenham have long been interested in Barkley but are currently reluctant to pay more than £25m for the former Leeds United loanee. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer of Barkley's talents and believes he can become Mousa Dembele's successor in north London, but it is unclear whether he will be able to get his hands on the divisive star this summer.
Tottenham's frugal approach over Barkley has allowed Chelsea to register an interest. Blues boss Antonio Conte is desperate for fresh faces to arrive at Stamford Bridge and is considering a move for the Wavertree-born playmaker, who would go some way to solving Chelsea's issue with the homegrown quota.
Chelsea and Tottenham still have around three weeks to complete a deal for Barkley, who is back in training after undergoing groin surgery, but Koeman said that Everton are prepared to keep their wantaway asset if they do not receive an offer that see as satisfactory.
"He's back in training which is good news for him and us, he lost a long period in the pre-season," Koeman said in his press conference. "I have no update [on his future], there is no offer on the table and that means he will stay at Everton for now."
Asked if Barkley would remain part of the Everton set-up if he stayed at Goodison after the transfer window, Koeman said: "Yes of course because he has one year left on his contract. If there is no offer - and maybe the club will not accept the offer because he is a good, young, English player. If somebody likes to buy Ross then it's a big deal."
Koeman admitted that he had expected to receive offers for Barkley by now but is seemingly not averse to prospect of keeping a player who clearly sees his future elsewhere. The Dutchman confirmed that both Barkley and James McCarthy will miss his side's Premier League opener against Stoke City on Saturday (12 August) due to a lack of fitness, but we may not have seen the last of the former in Everton colours.
"I expected really to have offers on the table for Ross because he made the decision not to sign, but if there is no interest he will stay and be part of the team," Koeman added. "I respect every personal ambition of every player but still he is training with Everton and is part of the team. He's back from groin surgery and we'll see."